The Indian markets pared some losses after the European markets opened in the green indicating some strength in the global markets. The markets have been deep in the red on the back of weak Asian stocks.
The Sensex was trading at 17,702 losing 27 points or 0.16 per cent while the Nifty was trading at 5,311 down 9 points or 0.18 per cent at 1.15 p.m. The Nifty has regained the crucial 5,300 mark.
The defensive sectors - consumer durables and healthcare - saw buying interest. Both indices gained close to a per cent each. The declines were led by the metal and banking stocks.
The broader markets continued to outperform the benchmark indices. The BSE small cap index rose 0.41 per cent while the BSE mid cap index rose 0.15 per cent. In terms of market breadth, 53 per cent stocks advanced on the BSE.
Reliance Communications gained 2.53 per cent and Cipla rose 2.51 per cent followed by Maruti Suzuki and Reliance Infra on the Sensex. Sterlite Industries fell 1.98 per cent. HDFC Bank, Wipro and Jindal Steel declined more than a per cent on the Sensex.
Among the stocks, oil marketing companies' (OMC) stocks rose. BPCL rose 0.74 per cent, IOC gained 1.14 per cent and HPCL added 0.61 per cent. The EGoM (empowered group of ministers) is meeting today to take a decision on fuel price deregulation.
Suzlon rose 0.95 per cent. The company has won an order worth 48.3 MW from a Chinese power producer. GMR Infra rose 1.85 per cent. The company has won a bid to develop the Maldives airport. GTL Infra rose 7 per cent. The stock rose on reports of a possible merger of the company's tower business with Reliance Infratel.
The European markets were trading in the green. The CAC 40 in France rose 0.36 per cent, the DAX in Germany gained 0.35 per cent while Britain's FTSE rose 0.43 per cent.
Overnight the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.4 per cent or 145 points to 10,152. The slide was led by the financial stocks because of concerns over the financial overhaul bill. There are also concerns about the economic recovery as reports indicated that employers have not ramped up their hiring. Orders for durable goods fell for the first time in six months.
The Asian markets continued to trade in the red after the Wall Street declined. The Nikkei 225 in Japan was down 1.92 per cent. The index had ended 0.1 per cent higher on Thursday after exports grew for the sixth month. The Kospi in South Korea fell 0.58 per cent. The Chinese markets dropped more than half a per cent.