After a weak start and a subsequent fall to lower levels, the market has recovered well and cut down a significant portion of it losses this afternoon thanks to some strong buying in banking, information technology, oil and PSU stocks.
A few stocks from healthcare, metal and capital goods sectors have also regained most of the lost ground. Power, realty and FMCG stocks are off their lows as well. Automobile stocks trade weak. Consumer durables stocks continue to languish in negative territory due to sustained selling pressure.
The Sensex, which declined to 15,847.03, has now recovered to 15,954.82, trimming down its loss to 71.59 points or 0.45%. At 4835.50, more than 30 points off the day's low of 4803.95, the Nifty is now down 25 points or 0.51% from its previous closing mark.
The partially convertible Indian rupee traded at 55.92 against the greenback, a little past noon today, down more than half a rupee from Tuesday's close.
Meanwhile, according to reports, the Reserve Bank of India will conduct open market operations (OMO) by buying back government bonds aggregating Rs 12,000 crore on Friday, to improve liquidity.
GAIL India has rallied to Rs 326.50, gaining nearly 4% in the process. State Bank of India has gained 1.4% at Rs 1965. Hindalco, Mahindra & Mahindra, BHEL and Tata Consultancy Services are up with modest gains, while HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Coal India and Wipro are up marginally.
Bharti Airtel is down by around 3%. Tata Power, Kotak Bank, Jindal Steel, Bank of Baroda, Ambuja Cements, Sesa Goa, Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors, Hero Motocorp, Maruti Suzuki, ONGC, HDFC and Punjab National Bank are trading lower by 1% - 2.3%.
Wockhardt is trading stronger by over 7.5%. Strides Arcolab, Astrazenca Pharma, Fortis Healthcare, Havells India, NMDC, GMR Infrastructure, Tata Communications, Oil India, Reliance Capital and Aurobindo Pharma are up 1.5% - 4.5% now.
Aurobindo Pharma shares are up nearly a percent at Rs 111 following the company obtaining final USFDA approval for Nevirapine tablets and oral suspension.
GTL Limited shares are down 3% at Rs 32.5o after the company reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 246.22 crore for the quarter ended March 2012 compared to a net profit of Rs 48.46 crore in the same period a year ago. Total income from operations increased to Rs 566.16 crore against Rs 776.10 crore in the corresponding quarter last fiscal.
Meanwhile the Chairman of Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council, C Rangarajan said that the government needs to raise petrol prices urgently to address the twin problems of fiscal deficit and current account deficit.
While stating that high petrol prices will temporarily make an impact on WPI (wholesale price index) inflation, he said that the impact on fiscal deficit will be much more if fuel prices are not raised.
Cutting fuel subsidy, or in other words, hiking retail fuel prices is the key to the government lowering its fiscal deficit as well as trimming its import bill as crude accounts for roughly a third of the total bill, Mr Rangarajan said.