The market saw a sharp selloff in the last hour of trade after staying in a tight range throughout the day. The Sensex slumped 255.69 points or 1.22 percent to end at 20635.13. The Nifty ended at 6122.90, down 80.45 points or 1.30 percent.
About 1232 shares have advanced, 1261 shares declined, and 142 shares were unchanged. The rupee also weakened as the dollar strengthens against emerging market currencies.
According to Deven Choksey of KR Choksey Securities, profit booking dragged the market today. "The Nifty may slip to somewhere around 6000-6050 levels to take the support. That is where I think the unwinding has started taking place and that is where the pressure is being seen," he says in an interview to CNBC-TV18.
Analyst SP Tulsian warns that too much trading interest or maybe strong hands pulling up metal and PSU banking stocks are signs of alarm. "Both are giving wrong indications because you did not have any comfort from the PSU bank and steel numbers," he adds.
Meanwhile, India gets a vote of confidence from brokerages. Religare Capital says most foreign investors still prefer India over China, but high inflation remains the biggest concern. Barclays sees the rally continuing through the end of the year.
"There is a clear preference of India over China atleast as of now. And I think the other important factor will be the state elections," Gautam Trivedi of Religare says.
Bank Nifty ended the day with a loss of around 2 percent. ICICI Bank, SBI, HDFC twins were biggest losers among the banking stocks. Capital goods, oil & gas, IT, auto and pharma stocks were slaughtered in late trade today. Reliance ended with a loss of over 1 percent.
However, small cap stocks held firm and ended in green.
Coal India (up 2 percent) was biggest gainer in the Sensex, followed by Sesa Sterlite, Tata Power and Tata Steel.
Sugar stocks rallied between 5-12 percent on hopes of resolution of the sugar crisis in the informal meeting that was scheduled today. The Finance Minister says the cabinet will take a decision next week on the sugar issue. However agriculture minister says no decision has been made yet, as the government is not in the position to give any money.
Stocks like JK Tyre and Ceat hit fresh 52-week highs on the back of lower rubber prices. Brokerages are bullish on tyre companies on the back of benign raw material prices and attractive valuations.
Jet Airways also gained (up 2 percent) in trade today. This is after the jet airways board approved 24 percent preferential allotment to Etihad. Jet Airways will make the allotment to Etihad at a price of Rs 754.73 a share. At today's meeting, the Jet board also approved the induction of Etihad CEO and CFO.
Oil marketing companies (OMC) were in focus as Oil Minister Veerappa Moily reiterated his commitment to completely wipe out under-recoveries on diesel. He is expecting diesel to be fully deregulated in six months.