Weakness in European markets and profit taking after three successive days of gains took a toll of some front line stocks and dragged the Indian benchmark stock indices Sensex and Nifty down to a negative close on Tuesday.
Worries about near term economic outlook following a significant drop in core sector growth in April and uncertainty about near term outlook for the European economy rendered the mood a bit bearish during the day.
After a weak start, the market staged a recovery of sorts in morning trade, but faltered and slipped deeper into the red as the session progressed, with investors choosing to take some profits, cashing in recent gains. Some disappointing sales data from automobile manufacturers too weighed on sentiment to an extent. All the five automobile majors reported lower sales for the month of June.
The Sensex, which declined to 19,442.75, ended the day with a loss of 113.57 points or 0.58% at 19,463.82, while the Nifty closed at 5857.55, slightly off the day's low, recording a loss of 41.30 points or 0.7%.
Realty stocks, which saw some bright spells in recent sessions, ended notably lower on profit taking. PSU, oil and bank stocks were among the other notable losers. Information technology, automobile, capital goods, power and metal stocks too mostly closed weak.
FMCG stocks found some support, but failed to sustain at higher levels .Select healthcare and consumer durables stocks closed on a firm note. Midcap and smallcap stocks were mostly subdued.
Jindal Steel & Power ended 4.2% down. Hero Motocorp declined by about 2.2%. Tata Power, ONGC, Infosys, Maruti Suzuki, HDFC Bank, Coal India, Larsen & Toubro, NTPC, Reliance Industries, HDFC, State Bank of India and Tata Motors ended lower by 1% - 2%.
Hindustan Copper lost over 6.5% with investors pressing sales at the counter on the back of reports that the panel of ministers on disinvestment will meet on Tuesday to decide on the floor price for selling a 4.01% stake of the government in the company.
Natco Pharma and Aurobindo Pharma attracted some buying following the companies receiving the USFDA approval for marketing Rizatriptan Benzoate orally disintegrating tablets in 5 mg and 10 mg strengths.
Elder Pharmaceuticals moved higher following an announcement from the company that its step-down subsidiary in UK, NutraHealth, has acquired Max Healthcare to re-enter the over-the-counter pharmaceutical category.
The market breadth was slightly weak. Out of 2492 stocks traded on BSE, 1213 stocks declined. 1131 stocks moved up and 148 stocks ended flat.