The Sensex finished at 19781.88, down 215.57 points or 1.08 percent points over the previous close, after seeing a low of 19676.66 intra-day. The Nifty shed 62.45 points or 1.1 percent to close at 5850.70. Mid and small cap shares fared better than their large cap counterparts, as improved sentiment is now prompting investors to look for bargains.
Stocks fell Thursday, snapping a 5-day winning streak which saw the Sensex rally around 1700 points. Dealers attributed today's weakness to a mix of profit booking and absence of buying at higher levels. Weakness in key European markets too weighed on sentiment, they said.
The Sensex finished at 19781.88, down 215.57 points or 1.08 percent points over the previous close, after seeing a low of 19676.66 intra-day. The Nifty shed 62.45 points or 1.1 percent to close at 5850.70. Mid and small cap shares fared better than their largecap counterparts, as improved sentiment is now prompting investors to look for bargains.
With the rupee too having recouped much of its losses over the last 10 days, the outlook is not as dire as it was till a couple of weeks back. Most players now expect the market to move in a narrow range for a while, till newsflow starts improving.
Brokers said the upswing till yesterday was driven largely by covering of short positions. With most of the bearish traders having squared off their short positions, the market now needs fresh buying to take it higher. Despite the improvement in some macro-economic numbers, investors are wary of buying in a big way, brokers say.
Metals, auto, banking, and oil & gas shares took a beating, while FMCG shares were the best performers for the day.
“We would look at a stop around 5,500 odd levels and 5,900-6,000 is pretty much on the top over the next short-term,” Tushar Mahajan of Nomura said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.
"Just adding a disclaimer to that, we have a big event coming up next week on the FOMC, which is being watched by everyone globally. So, if Fed says that tapering is over, you will see a knee-jerk reaction to both the currencies and markets in emerging markets and we will not be spared in that case," he said.
Shares of Financial Technologies and group company MCX continued to climb on speculation that a strategic buyer could pick up a stake in these companies.
FT shares gained around 18 percent to close at Rs 217.40 and MCX shares rose around 5 percent to close at Rs 482.
Big gainers among frontline shares included Tata Power, ITC and Ranbaxy, up around 2 percent each.
Jaiprakash Associates shares were among the major losers of the day, tumbling 11 percent. The company sold its cement unit in Gujarat to UltraTech for Rs 3800 crore, but analysts say the Jaypee Group as a whole needs to do much more to meaningfully reduce its debt burden.