Markets pared losses in the late-morning session on back of modest recovery in bank index, however, sentiments remained weak as investors feared that the country’s fiscal deficit may widen further after Lok Sabha approved $20 billion plan to provide cheap food to poor people.
Risk appetite further dampened on fear over military action by the US after Secretary of State John Kerry held Syrian government accountable for using chemical weapons in an attack over civilians.
At 11:30AM, the 30-share Sensex declined 301 points at 17,668 and the 50-share Nifty dropped 106 at 5,180 levels.
The broader markets fell with mid-caps and small-caps dropping 1.5-2 per cent on the BSE.
The market breadth was negative. Out of 1,654 stocks traded, 1,213 stocks declined while 367 stocks advanced on the BSE.
At 11:20AM, the rupee was trading at Rs 68.10 per dollar on the Interbank Foreign Exchange after touching a low of Rs 68.02 in early trade on Wednesday.
The previous all-time low was Rs 66.19 per dollar, a level the rupee had ended on yesterday. The currency has fallen more than 8% so far this week.
Asian stocks fell while Brent crude surged to over 2-year high on brewing tensions between Syria and US.
Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.3% to 13,362, Singapore’s Straits Times fell 1.2% to 2,996, China’s Shanghai Composite index was down 0.5% at 2,092 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.5 % to 21,57 4 today.
Domestically, barring IT index, rest all declined with banks, realty, capital goods, oil & gas, PSU, metal leading the drop on the BSE.
The gainers included counters such as Infosys gaining 1%, Dr Reddy’s gained 0.4% on the BSE.
The laggards were BHEL falling 10%, HDFC and HDFC Bank dropped 7% each while Larsen & Toubro fell 5.6% on the BSE.
The key notable movers included counters such as Cairn India has rallied nearly 5% to Rs 323 in otherwise weak market after crude oil prices climbed to multi-month high on report that Western powers prepared for possible military action against Syria over the regime's alleged use of chemical weapons.
Strides Arcolab is trading higher 4% at Rs 863 on reports that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has cleared the long-pending $1.8-billion investment proposal by US generic drug maker Mylan Inc, to acquire Strides Arcolab’s injectible unit, Agila Specialities.