Tracking weak Asian cues, the BSE benchmark index dropped 0.8% in opening trades to a low of 18,449.The broader markets - midcap and smallcap indices - have also followed suit and has come off 0.2% each. Currently the Sensex is down 125 points at 18,471, while the Nifty has declined 37 points at 5,548. All the sectoral indices are in the negative territory. IT index down 1% for the third consecutive day is leading the losses followed by Oil & Gas, Capital Goods, Auto and Power indices. FMCG index which started better than the most pared its opening gains and is down 0.5%. Meanwhile, Consumer Durables limited its losses and is flat with a negative bias.
Of the total eight companies in the Consumer Durables space, four have declined. The movers here are Videocon Industries up nearly 1%, Whirlpool and Titan Industries adding 0.7% each.
While the US markets closed higher on expectations that the Federal Reserve could again step in to support the economy, the ongoing US debt crisis and a possible downgrade of the US government triple A bond by Moodys Investors Service soured the mood in Asia. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.4%, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 0.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.5%.
In Asia Japan's Nikkei Stock Average declined 0.4%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.3% and China's Shanghai Composite was off 0.2%. Back home, Bharti Airtel up 0.5% is the only gainer among the Sensex-30 scrips.
Infosys, ONGC,Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Power, L&T and Reliance Communications down 1-2% are the top losers in the opening trades.
The market breadth is negative. Of the total 1471 stocks traded on the BSE, 940 stocks declined while 726 advanced.