Markets traded sideways in the afternoon session this Friday on back of profit booking in metal and mining shares while bank stocks pared their intra-day gains.
Sentiments turned jittery after the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the rupee's tumble is a "matter of concern" but is part of a needed adjustment due to India's large current account deficit.
Singh said that rupee depreciation will see upward pressure on inflation, but added that RBI will work on containing it.
At 12:40PM, the 30-share Sensex dropped 20 points at 18,380 and the 50-share Nifty shed 15 points at 5,394 levels.
The key trigger for markets now will be first quarter GDP data and the fiscal deficit data for April-July scheduled later today.
Moody's Analytics, the research and analysis wing of Moody’s expects the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for the first quarter to be at 4.5%.
Meanwhile, the Finance Minister P Chidambaram has already said that the Centre's fiscal deficit at 4.8% of GDP in the current financial year is a red line which will not be breached.
The broader markets were positive with mid-caps and small-caps gaining 0.2-0.3 per cent on the BSE.
The market breadth was positive. Out of 2,058 stocks traded, 1,095 stocks advanced while 832 stocks declined on the BSE.
At 12:45PM, the partially convertible rupee was trading at 67.67 per dollar against the Thursday’s close of 68.80/81-- a 3.2% gain over its previous close.
Asian stocks swung between gains and losses, with energy producers leading declines as the price of oil fell after the UK parliament voted against military strikes on Syria. Japanese utilities rose.
Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.5% to 13,388, Singapore’s Straits Times gained 0.2% to 3,043, China’s Shanghai Composite index was up 0.4% at 2,106 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.1 % to 21,675 today.
European markets opened lower. France’s CAC declined 0.01% to 3,985, Germany’s DAX shed 0.02% to 8,196 while UK’s FTSE was up 0.1% to 6,495.