Markets slipped into the red in the morning trades as weakness in names like HDFC, Tata Motors and FMCG majors nullified the gains in index heavyweights like Reliance Industries, Infosys and ICICI Bank. At 1050 hrs, the Sensex was down 14 points at 19,311 and the Nifty slipped eight points at 5,843. ___________________________ (Updated at 10 hrs) After a flat opening with a negative bias, markets edged higher on account of buying in Oil& Gas majors like Reliance Industries and ONGC. At 0945 hrs, the Sensex was up 21 points at 19,346 and the Nifty added two points at 5,855. In the broader markets, the midcap and the smallcap indices were up 0.1% each, in line with the Sensex. U. S. stocks fell for a second straight day on Thursday and the S&P 500 posted its worst two-day loss since November after reports cast doubt over the health of the U. S. and euro-zone economies. In Europe, business activity indexes dealt a blow to hopes that the euro zone might emerge from recession soon, showing the downturn across the region's businesses unexpectedly grew worse this month. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.34 percent, to 13,881 at the close.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 0.63 percent, to 1,502. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.04 percent, to close at 3,131. Asian shares edged higher on Friday, recouping the previous day's steep losses, as investors reassessed the Federal Reserve's commitment to its current accommodative policy while weak U. S. and European data clouded growth prospects, limiting gains. Back home, among the sectoral indices, Auto, Metal, Capital Goods and FMCG indices were in the negative, down 0.1-0.8%. Among the gainers were Realty, Oil & Gas and IT indices, gaining 0.5-1.3%. The top gainers among the Sensex-30 were Bharti Airtel, ONGC, Wipro, Sun Pharma, Infosys and Reliance Industries up 1-2%. Tata Power, ICICI Bank, Gail India up 0.7% each were the other prominent gainers. Among the losers were HDFC down 2.5% after Goldman Sachs cut its rating to 'sell' from 'neutral' citing concerns India's economy would recover at a "modest" pace and the prospect of rising competition. Goldman also downgraded its target price on HDFC to Rs 740 from Rs 790. Tata Motors, Hindustan Unilever, Mahindra & Mahindra, Coal India, Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp and Hindalco down 0.5-2%. The market breadth was positive. 873 stocks advanced while 767 stocks declined on the BSE.