The Indian stock market got off to a fairly steady start this morning with investors indulging in some buying in early trades, tracking a somewhat positive trend in Asian markets. The finance minister's statement that the government has finalised draft amendments to the General Anti Avoidance Rules also contributed to an extent to the market's upmove.
However, with several stocks facing stiff resistance at higher levels, the market has pared most of its early gains and drifted down into negative territory subsequently.
The Sensex, which rose to 18,386.78, gaining nearly 80 points in the process, is currently down 25.47 points or 0.14% at 18,283.90. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange is down 15.15 points or 0.27% at 5558.90, more than 30 points off an early high of 5592.75.
Information technology stocks are among the notable gainers in opening trades. A weak rupee is aiding their surge. A few stocks from automobile, healthcare and metal sectors are also trading higher.
FMCG, capital goods and oil stocks are mostly subdued, while bank, realty, power and metal stocks are trading mixed. While not much buying is happening in the midcap space, some smallcap stocks have moved up smartly.
Maruti Suzuki, up 2.6% at rs 1475, is the top gainer in the Sensex. Bharti Airtel is trading 2.2% up at Rs 307.50. Infosys is up with a gain 1.6% at Rs 2378. Mahindra & Mahindra, GAIL India, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, NTPC, ONGC, Cipla, Bajaj Auto and BHEL are up 0.5% - 1%.
HCL Technologies, Cairn India, Bank of Baroda, Wipro, Hero Motocorp, Tata Steel, Tata Power and Tata Consultancy Services are also trading in positive territory.
Axis Bank is trading lower by about 1.6%. IDFC, Ambuja Cements, Hindustan Unilever, Tata Motors and Reliance Industries are down 1% - 1.2%.
L&T is trading lower by around 0.8 percent. The company announced on Friday that it has agreed to sell its medical equipment business based at Mysore to Skanray Healthcare.
Reliance Infrastructure, DLF, Ultratech Cement, Hindalco, Kotak Bank, HDFC, Punjab National Bank, State bank of India, BPCL and Sesa Goa are also trading weak.
L&T Finance Holdings has plunged sharply on huge volumes. The stock, which opened at Rs 82.10, more than a rupee down from its previous closing price, is currently trading at Rs 76.80, with a loss of over 8%. On the National Stock Exchange, over 8 million shares have been traded so far at the L&T Finance Holdings counter this morning.
Tata Global Beverages (down 3.6% at Rs 168) and Tata Coffee (down 1.3% at Rs 1412) have also drifted lower on strong volumes.