After a positive opening today, the main Indian indices struggled to stay in the positive zone but slipped deep into the red in the afternoon session.
By late afternoon, markets had pared most of their losses to trade almost flat, but slipped again towards the ended of the session with the Nifty closing below 5,350.
Indian equities were largely pressured by the broader markets which witnessed a sharp fall today and were under-performing the frontline indices for the second consecutive session.
However, buying in the IT, FMCG, Teck and Power counters aided in the recovery earlier.
Asian stocks were down, with the regional benchmark hitting a two-week low, even as the dollar strengthened and commodities dropped ahead of Friday's important Federal Reserve annual symposium in the US.
The Hang Seng was flat, while the Australia S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.4% and Japan's Nikkei Average was down ~0.6%. The Shanghai Composite index gained ~0.9%. The Kospi in South Korea was down 0.1% while the Straits Times in Singapore was static. The Taiex in Taiwan dropped 1.4%.
Japanese shares were among the top losers in the region today after the government scaled down the outlook for the domestic economy.
European stock indices opened lower after Monday's smart gains, after Japan cut its economic forecasts for the first time this year. In addition, a member of the European Central Bank (ECB), Joerg Asmussen has dented hopes of further stimulus from the region's central bank.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.5%. The French CAC 40 index was down 0.6% while the German DAX 30 index dropped 0.5% and the FTSE 100 index was trading flat.
BSE Sensex: 17,631 down 0.3%
NSE Nifty: 5,334 down 0.3%
Losses on the broader markets were far steeper than those of their large-cap counterparts. This was because the BSE decided to shift 74 stocks to the “T-to-T” group. The list of stocks included the likes of SKS Microfinance, Wockhardt and Mastek. The BSE Mid-Cap index lost 1% while the BSE Small-Cap index decline 1.4%.
Among the sectoral indices, Metals was the biggest decliner, down 2.4%. Capital Goods, Bankex, Auto, PSU and Realty were the other sectors on the list. Among the gainers, IT rose the most, up 0.9% followed by FMCG, Tech and Power.
Powergrid Corp, TCS, Asian Paints, Dr.Reddy’s Labs, Sun Pharma, NTPC and Tata Power were the notable leaders on the Sensex and the Nifty.
Sterlite Inds, Jindal Steel, JP Associates, Hindalco Inds, Sesa Goa, L&T, ONGC, Axis Bank, Bajaj Auto, Tata Steel and Coal India were the notable laggards on both indexes.
On the BSE-500, HCL Infosystems, KGN Inds, United Breweries, Deccan Chronicle Holdings and Jubilant Life sciences were the top gainers. Alok Inds, Welspun Corp, SKS Microfinance, Wockhardt, Educomp Solutions, GTL and GTL Infra were the top losers.
HCL Infosystems surged 20.5% to Rs.43.80 on reports that China’s Lenovo Group is in talks to buy a 50.1% stake in the IT company for Rs.5bn.
Federal Bank lost 3% to close at Rs.401.90 after the BSE informed that 8.5mn shares, or 5% of the bank’s equity, was sold in two block deals for Rs.3.4bn at an average price of Rs.404.08 per share.
Wockhardt and SKS Microfinance among others declined 7.4% and 8.1%, respectively. after the BSE said that the companies’ stocks be settled on a trade-to-trade basis. Thus, buyers and sellers would now have to square the trade after each transaction. Stocks declined as the move would curb margin-related trading on the stocks.
ONGC fell 1.9% to Rs.282.10 after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) slammed the public sector oil & gas producer for its shoddy efforts in hydrocarbon exploration over the past three years. CAG has pulled up ONGC for not placing desired emphasis on discovering oil and gas and being tardy in monetising its discoveries.
Sun Pharma advanced 1.7% to Rs.681.15 after the company said the US drug regulator has notified that Caraco may resume operations at its manufacturing facility and packaging sites in Detriot and Wixom, Michigan.
Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Company climbed 2.9% to Rs.63.60 after the company allotted 1 crore fully paid-up equity shares at Rs 78 per share to a promoter group company on conversion of convertible warrants.