Benchmark share indices ended higher Thursday, amid a volatile trading session, led by banks after slump in food inflation to 4-year lows, rekindled hopes of rate cut by the central bank sooner than expected.
The 30-share Sensex provisionally ended at 15,812 up 127 points or 0.8% and the 50-share Nifty ended at 4,731 up 38 points or 0.8%.
Food inflation fell sharply to a near four-year low of 1.81% for the week ended December 10 as prices of essential items like vegetables, onion, potato and wheat declined, government data showed.
This is the lowest rate of food inflation since the week ended February 9, 2008, when it stood at 2.26%.
Food inflation, as measured by Wholesale Price Index (WPI), was 4.35% in the previous week. It had stood at 13.22% in the corresponding week of 2010.
(Updated at 14:20 hrs)
Markets have trimmed most of the day’s losses, after falling sharply intraday, led by gains in HUL and financial shares. HUL was up 1.7% at Rs. 408.
Amongst Banks shares, ICICI bank was up 2.5% up while, HDFC Bank and SBI were both up 1% each.
By 1415 hrs, the Sensex was down 4 points at 15,681 and the 50-share Nifty up 2 points at 4,695. Earlier, the Sensex was down over 200 pts whereas Nifty declined 60 pts in noon trades.
(Updated at 12:59 hrs)
Markets have extended losses in noon deals on the back of continued selling pressure in IT, metal and banking stocks. The Sensex has slipped 175 points to 15,509 and the Nifty is down 50 points at 4,642. The Sensex had opened lower on the back of weak global cues.
Ravi Nathani, a Mumbai-based technical analyst, said, "The Nifty could revisit 4,800 levels in the near term."
Bharti Airtel is the top loser among the Sensex stocks, down 4.5% at Rs 326. Wipro, Infosys, Hindalco, Coal India, ICICI Bank, L&T, M&M, TCS, Jindal Steel and Reliance Industries are also trading weaker by 1.6-2.75% each.
On the other hand, HUL, NTPC, DLF, ITC, Tata Motors and Cipla are among the notable gainers on the BSE benchmark index.
Among individual stocks, Mahindra Holidays and Resorts is trading higher by 2.2% at Rs 285 after it announced the launch of Club Mahindra Emerald Palms in Goa.
Sugar companies are trading higher in an otherwise subdued equity market on reports that the government will consider the partial decontrol of the sector after end of the winter session of Parliament.
Amrit Bansapati Company and Amrit Corp have rallied more than 5% each after Bunge, the world's leading oilseeds processor, entered into an agreement to acquire the edible oils and fats business of Amrit Banaspati.
Selling pressure is visible across sectors, barring FMCG and pharma. IT stocks are among the worst hit, with the IT index shedding more than 2%. Metal, banking, capital goods, oil & gas, auto, PSU and realty indices have also shed 0.2-1.5% each.
Bharti Airtel, Oracle Financial Services Software, Idea Cellular, Mphasis, GTL and Core Projects are the top losers from the technology space. Among the metal stocks, SAIL is the top loser, down 2.5% at Rs 78. It is followed by JSW Steel, Sesa Goa, Bhushan Steel, Sterlite Industries, Tata Steel and NALCO.
The mid-cap and small-cap indices are also down nearly 0.6% each.
The overall market breadth is negative as 1,427 stocks are declining while 980 are advancing.