As selling in FMCG, information technology and healthcare stocks intensified, and a few early gainers from metal, oil and PSU sectors retreated from their highs on profit taking, the BSE benchmark Sensex very nearly slipped into negative territory in early afternoon trade today.
Realty, capital goods, bank and automobile stocks are mostly trading notably higher, despite paring some morning gains. Select oil and power stocks are also up in positive territory.
The Sensex, which declined to 18,480.64 from the day's high of 18,715.03, is currently up 43.87 points or 0.24% at 18,508.14. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange, which declined to 5585.15, is up 19.85 points or 0.36% at 5597.50, well off the day's high of 5652.20.
ICICI Bank, the top gainer in the Sensex at present, is up 4.8% at Rs 1055. Jindal Steel is trading 4.5% up at Rs 389, while State Bank of India, Larsen & Toubro and Tata Motors are up 3.3% - 3.6%.
BHEL, Sterlite Industries, Reliance Industries, Bharti Airtel, Tata Power and Mahindra & Mahindra are up 2% - 2.8%. Maruti Suzuki, Hero Motocorp, NTPC, GAIL India, Tata Steel and HDFC are also up with smart gains.
Reliance Infrastructure, up 6.8% at Rs 503, is the top gainer in the Nifty index. IDFC has gained nearly 6%. DLF is also trading almost 6% up. Jaiprakash Associates has gained 5.3%. Punjab National Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Cairn India and Sesa Goa are up 1.8% - 3.5%.
FMCG heavyweight ITC is down 4.4% on sustained selling at the counter. Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Tata Consultancy Services, Ambuja Cements, Wipro, Infosys and Coal India are trading lower by 2% - 3.5%.
HCL Technologies, BPCL, Hindalco, Hindustan Unilever, Power Grid Corporation, Cipla, ACC, HDFC Bank and ONGC are also trading notably lower.
Junior Nifty stocks GMR Infrastructure and Power Finance Corporation are up 9.8% and 7.5%, resepctively. RECL, Reliance Capital, Union Bank of India, Andhra Bank, Yes Bank, Canara Bank, IDBI Bank, Reliance Communications, Federal Bank and LIC Housing Finance are up 3.5% - 6%.
IndusInd Bank, Ashok Leyland, Bank of India, Crompton Greaves, Cummins India, Idea Cellular, Indian Hotels and United Spirits are also up with impressive gains.
Divi's Laboratories, Glaxo Smithkline Pharmaceuticals, Glaxo Smithkline Consumer Healthcare, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Dabur India, Bharat Forge, Tech Mahindra and JSW Steel are trading sharply lower.
Aviation sector stocks SpiceJet and Kingfisher Airlines rose sharply following the government ending a ban on local carriers selling stakes to overseas airlines.
Retail sector stocks Pantaloon Retail and Shopper's Stop gained in strength on sustained buying on the back of the government approving 51% FDI in local multi-brand retail industry.