Benchmark shares indices ended marginally lower on Monday erasing the day's gains after global rating agency Standard & Poor's today said India may become the first BRIC country to lose the investment grade rating.
Further, the weakening rupee also weighed on investor sentiment.
(Updated at 14:14 hrs)
Markets have come off the intra-day high levels in the late noon deals on the back of some amount of selling pressure visible in the pharma and heavyweight stocks such as ONGC, Wipro and Jindal Steel. The Sensex is up 75 points at 16,793 and the 50-share Nifty is up 17 points at 5,085 levels. Earlier in the day, the Sensex touched the high of 16,893
The European markets are trading on a strong note after the Eurozone finance ministers decided to grant a 100 billion euro bailout to struggling Spanish banks. Following this development, Spain's IBEX index surged 3.6% to 6,785 levels. CAC40 index, DAX and FTSE 100 were also trading higher by 1.4-2% each.
The Asian markets also ended higher in trades today, the Hang Seng advanced 2.4% or 451 points at 18,954, Nikkei advanced 165 points to 8,624 and the Kospi ended higher by 31 points at 1,867 levels.
Back home, Tata Power is the top gainer among the Sensex stocks. The stock has advanced 4% to Rs 98 on report that the government will allow to raise tariffs by up to Re 1 per unit for power projects using imported coal to offset the effect of increase in fuel price due to additional taxes or changes in law by the governments of source countries. Shares of other power generation companies were also trading higher by 4% each.
Sterlite Industries also jumped 3.5% to Rs 104, extending its Friday's 3.5% gain on reports that a unit of the company has entered into a tripartite agreement with Larsen & Toubro and its partner Dubai Aluminium Company (Dubal) to buy them out from their aluminium venture in Odisha, called Raykal Aluminium.
Bajaj Auto, Gail (India), Coal India, HUL, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Hindalco and NTPC are also among the gainers.
On the other hand, Cipla, ONGC, Dr Reddy's Lab, Sun Pharma, Hero MotoCorp, Wipro, Jindal Steel and L&T are among the notable laggards.
On the sectoral front, Consumer durable index is the top gainer, up 1.7% to 6,135 levels. Power, metal, realty, bankex and PSU indices are also up 0.8-1.7% each. At the same time, healthcare indiex is the only loser down 0.9% at 6,575.
The broader markets are outperforming the benchmark indices. The BSE mid-cap small-cap indices are up 0.8 and 1% each respectively.
The overall breadth is positive as 1,653 stocks are advancing while 976 are declining.