Amid alternate bouts of buying and selling in blue chip stocks, the benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty are currently hovering around their previous closing levels. Earlier, on the back of a steady trend in Asian markets, equities opened modestly higher this morning.
While shares from metal, healthcare, consumer durables, PSU and automobile sectors are finding some support, shares from capital goods, banking, information technology and FMCG sectors are mostly subdued. Realty, oil and power stocks are trading flat.
The Sensex, which declined to 17,731.75 from a high of 17,810.90, is currently at 17,766.93, up 17.28 points or 0.1% from its previous closing mark. The Nifty, which rose to 5375.45 in early trades, is up 3.20 points or 0.06% at 5361.90, off the day's low of 5350.40.
In the currency market, the rupee edged up 9 paise to a fresh two-week high of 55.27 against the US dollar in early trade today. The partially convertible Indian currency had ended up 30 paise at 55.36 against the greenback on Friday.
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, up 1.9% at Rs 678.50, is the top gainer in the Sensex. Tata Steel and Bharti Airtel are up by around 1.75% at Rs 380.50 and Rs 258.50, respectively. Coal India, Hindalco and HDFC are trading higher by a little over 1.5%.
Bajaj Auto, GAIL India, Hero Motocorp, Mahindra & Mahindra, HDFC Bank, Sterlite Industries and ONGC are trading modestly higher.
Jindal Steel, BHEL, Hindustan Unilever, State Bank of India and Tata Consultancy Services are down more than a percent from their previous closing levels.
ICICI Bank, Wipro, Tata Power, Tata Motors, Cipla, Reliance Industries and Larsen & Toubro are trading lower by 0.2% - 0.8%.
Infosys, which moved higher in early trades, has retreated and eased into negative territory due to lack of support. Infosys has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Zurich-based SAP implementation and management consultancy Lodestone, for about $350 million, the company announced this morning.
"A Key plank of our Infosys 3.0 strategy is to expand out consulting and systems integration business. This acquisition fits perfectly into that strategy. Lodestone and Infosys share a culture of unwavering focus on nurturing and maintaining client trust," chief executive SD Shibulal, said in a statement filed with the stock exchanges.
Aurobindo Pharma is up 3%. The company recently announced that the USFDA has given final approval to the company to manufacture and market anti-hypertension drug Amlodipine Besylate and Benazepril Hydrochloride capsules in various strengths.
"The annual sales of Amlodipine Besylate and Benazepril Hydrochloride capsules is approximately $500 million for the twelve months ending March 2012, according to IMS Data," Aurobindo Pharma said in a filing to the exchanges.
Pantaloon Retail is trading more than 4% up at Rs 150. The stock is up following the company announcing the merger of Future Value Retail, which houses Big Bazaar and Food Bazaar, with the company. Future Value Retail, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of PRIL, which operates 148 Big Bazaar stores and 169 Food Bazaar stores, apart from other formats such as KB's Fair Price.
Meanwhile, the board of directors of Peter England Fashions and Retail Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd, at its meeting held on Sunday, approved the scheme of arrangement for the demerger of 'Pantaloons Format' business into PEFRL. As per the arrangement, the equity shareholders of PRIL will receive one fully-paid up equity share of Rs 10 each in PEFRL for five fully-paid up shares (including DVR equity shares) of Rs 2 each held in PRIL.
Adani Enterprises , Muthoot Finance, Max India, JP Power, Manappuram Finance, Adani Power, Godrej Industries, Tech Mahindra, NMDC, Strides Arcolab, IPCA Laboratories, JSW Energy and Petronet LNG are trading higher by 2% - 5%.
According to a report from the Soceity of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, car sales in India fell for the first time in 10 months in August, and motorcycle sales fell for the first time since January 2009. Automakers sold 118,142 cars in August, down 18.6%, the report revealed.