Markets ended today's volatile session on a flat note. The Sensex provisionally closed at 18,334, down 5 points and the Nifty closedhigher by 2 points at 5,573.
After a range bound session in the first half of the trading session markets slipped into negative terrain on profit taking in select heavyweights like Infosys, Reliance Industries, SBI and Larsen & Toubro.
Investors also turned cautious ahead of the winter session of Parliament which is likely to begin from Thursday as Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Congress is likely to bring no confidence motion against the incumbent UPA.
The Sensex has shed 39 points to 18,300 and the 50-share Nifty is down 11 points at 5,562. Earlier in the day, markets witnessed a positive opening and the Sensex touched the intra-day high of 18,468 and the Nifty touched the high of 5,614.
The Asian markets ended on a weak note as the worries over the US 'fiscal cliff' led to a sell of in the Asian markets. The Hang Seng slipped 34 points to 21,228, Nikkei slipped 10 points to close at 9,142 and the Shanghai Composite also closed lower by 8 points at 2,008.
The European shares and the euro fell on Tuesday after a credit rating agency stripped France of its top-notch rating, reminding investors of the continuing risks from the euro zone debt crisis.
But the falls were limited as the move was widely expected and comes a day after global equity markets saw their biggest gains since late July on optimism that U.S. lawmakers would reach a deal to avert automatic tax hikes and spending cuts due to take effect in early 2013. The CAC, DAX and FTSE slipped 0.2-0.6% each.
Back home, Hindalco was the top Sensex loser, the stock slipped 2.4% to Rs 105. Software major Infosys was down 1.5% on profit taking after recent gains. Capital goods majors L&T and BHEL continued to witness selling pressure and were down 0.6-0.9% each after the sector registered sharp contraction in September.
State Bank of India, Bajaj Auto, Jindal Steel, Infosys, Jindal Steel, Sterlite Industries, Hero MotoCorp, Cipla, Tata Steel, ONGC, Reliance Industries, ITC and Dr Reddy's Labs, ICICI Bank and Sun Pharma are also trading weaker by 0.6-2% each.
On the gaining side, HDFC, country's biggest mortgage lender jumped 1.7%. In the auto segment, passenger car makers Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) is trading higher by 2.4% at Rs 930, extending its previous day’s around 2% gain, on hopes for rising sales this month as part of the festival season.
Tata Power, Wipro, GAIL India, HDFC Bank, Coal India, NTPC, Maruti Suzuki, TCS and HUL are also among the notable gainers.
Most of the sectoral indices are trading on a weak note. The BSE realty index is the top loser, down 3% or 54 points at 1,836. Metal, capital goods, IT, Oil & gas, PSU, healthcare and bankex indices are also down 0.4-1% each. While, the auto index is the only gainer on the sectoral front.
City Union Bank is trading higher by 4.4% at Rs 61.60 ahead of rights issue of equity shares. The private sector lender has fixed November 23 as the record date for the purpose of rights issue.
Shares of companies engaged in gems and jewellery business have continue at their upward march and trading higher by up to 20% on the BSE on hopes of higher demand in coming months.
Vaibhav Gems, C Mahendra Exports, Shrenuj & Co, Thangamayil Jewellery, Tribuhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (TBZ), Shree Ganesh Jewellery House and Renaissance Jewellery are trading higher by 6-20% on the BSE.
Heritage Foods (India) has soared 18% to Rs 493, also its record high, on back of almost ten-fold jump in trading volumes. The stock opened at Rs 418 on the BSE and has seen a combined around one million shares changing hands on the counter till late noon deals.
The broader markets are underperforming the benchmark indices. The BSE mid-cap index is down 0.8% at 6,544 and the small-cap index has shed 0.9% at 6,987.
The overall breadth is negative as 1,783 stocks are declining while 959 are advancing.