The BSE Sensex shed over 150 points on Thursday as investors shift their focus to a government share sale in Oil and Natural Gas Corp aiming to raise at least USD 2.5 billion.
The offer, through a one-day auction, is expected see heavy bidding, including by foreign funds.
Asian shares mostly fell as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke put the brakes on a recent rally by not signalling any further monetary easing to stimulate growth, while investors shifted their focus to manufacturing data due later in the day.
Back home, the BSE benchmark was down 146 points at 17,606.72 and the Nifty lost 46 points to 5,338.90. Asian markets barring Hang Seng were trading moderately higher.
Hindalco, BHEL, Infosys, SBI, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Reliance Industries and Tata Steel, were down 1-2%. DLF, M&M, Reliance Infrastructure, Reliance Power
Shares in ONGC, the country's largest oil producer, rose 1% to extend gains after rising 3.5% on Wednesday to Rs 293.20 -- just above the Rs 290 floor price set for the sale.
"Big buyers would obviously divert more funds to ONGC share sale," said Kishor Ostwal, chairman, CNI Research.
Sun Pharma, Siemens, HUL, HDFC, Hero Motocorp, NTPC and ITC were on buyers' radar.
The CNX Midcap dropped 30 points to 7,675. The market breadth was neutral.
In the second line shares, MTNL rallied 8% after Business Standard reports that company struggles in CDMA businesses and may close down operations.
Bata was marginally up after 31% rise in net profit to Rs 45 crore for Q4 CY11.
Infotech Enterprises was up 8% on bullish call from brokerage house.
DCB, WWIL, Dish TV, Hathway Cable, Dishman Pharma and Strides Arcolab were up 1-3%.
However, BGR Energy, Lanco Infratech, Andhra Bank, Essar Oil, HDIL, Punj Lloyd and Delta Corp lost 1.5-3%.
PTC India Financial tumbled 5% amid huge volumes.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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