It's quite a listless start for stocks on the Indian bourses this morning with investors looking for some clear direction for the near term. While the U.S. markets closed lower overnight amid lingering worries about the fiscal cliff, Asian markets are mixed amid cautious trades this morning, rendering price movements sluggish in early trades.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which touched a high of 19,263.23 in early trades, but dropped down to 19,195.23 subsequently, is currently up 9.70 points or 0.05% at 19,238.96.
The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange is up 7.30 points or 0.12% at 5858.80. The index had earlier eased to 5840.65 after rising to 5861.60.
Consumer durables and FMCG stocks are trading weak, even as stocks from realty, capital goods, healthcare and metal sectors are edging higher on fairly good support. Select automobile and bank stocks have moved up. Information technology and oil stocks are a bit subdued.
Larsen & Toubro is trading higher by over 1%. Sterlite Industries, Jindal Steel & Power, Tata Steel, Hindalco, Mahindra & Mahindra, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Wipro, Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Auto, Dr Reddy's Laboratories and GAIL India are up 0.3% - 0.8%.
Infosys, State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Reliance Industries, Bharti Airtel and BHEL are up marginally.
Reliance Infrastructure, Jaiprakash Associates, Sesa Goa, ACC, Ultratech Cement, BPCL, HCL Technologies, Cairn India, IDFC, Ambuja Cements and Kotak Bank are up 0.5% - 1%.
ITC is down 1.2%, extending previous session's decline. Hindustan Unilever is trading weak as well, losing about 0.5%. Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Hero Motocorp, ONGC, Asian Paints, Power Grid Corporation and Tata Motors are also trading weak.
Jet Airways is up more than 3% on strong volumes. The stock tops the chart on NSE, clocking a turnover of over Rs 95 crore, on a volume of around 1.54 million shares. NMDC (up 1.5%) is also up on impressive volumes.
Karnataka Bank (down 2.5%) and Kingfisher Airlines (down 5%) have declined sharply on huge volumes.