The markets failed to hold on to their intra-day gains in the last hour of trade which saw the Sensex slipping into the negative owing to the selloff in the IT and Metal space. This was the eighth consecutive day where the markets closed in the red and the Nifty closed below the 200 DMA for the third day in a row. At the close, the BSE benchmark index was down 65 points at 18,469 and the Nifty lost 28 points to end the day at 5,537.
After closing at a six week low yesterday, the markets opened in the negative today tracking weak Asian peers and as investors digested 50 bps rate hike which continued to weigh on all the rate sensitive sectors like banking, auto and realty space.
This caused the Sensex to slip into the day's low of 18,339. However as the day progressed investors got into bottom fishing which saw some recovery in the banking space. Later in the afternoon trades, the Sensex staged a sharp pullback to strike day's high in positive zone in mid-afternoon trade as the battered index pivotals came off day's low.
The sectoral indices that were leading the losses for the day were Auto, IT and Metal. On the other hand, Oil & Gas index gained 1.2% at 9,782. The gain seen for the day was due to the reports that an Empowered Group of Ministers headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to meet on 11 May 2011 to mull on a hike in fuel prices.
The government plans to hike diesel prices by up to Rs 3 a litre while a hike in petrol prices is also on cards. These hikes may be implemented after the Assembly elections in five states are over next week.The movers in this space were ONGC and BPCL up 4% each followed by Oil India,HPCL which added 2% each.
Apart from the Oil & Gas indices, the top gainers among the Sensex-30 stocks were HDFC Bank, SBI and Hindustan Unilever up 1% each followed by Jaiprakash Associates, BHEL, L&T and Sterlite Industries which added between 0.4 - 0.8%.
Among the loser for the day were Bajaj Auto down nearly 5%, Hero Honda and HDFC which shed 3% each followed by Reliance Communications, Tata Power, Jindal Steel and Tata Steel which lost 2% each.
The market breadth was very negative. Of the total 2928 stocks traded on the BSE, 1697 stocks had declined while 1105 advanced.