Indian stocks followed global markets into the red Thursday, on slew of negatives from overseas. In the US, reports showed the countrys trade gap widened to $49.9 billion and doubts were raised on overseas demand for American goods.
Elsewhere, Bank of England lowered its economic growth forecast and said it sees inflation below the 2 per cent target in 2012. Chinas industrial production grew the least in 11 months by 13.4 per cent in July and lending growth was the smallest since March. The Peoples Bank of China also lowered its daily reference rate by 0.36 percent to 6.8015 per US dollar.
Nifty was down 37.9 points or 0.70 per cent at 5382.70. The National Stock Exchange benchmark opened the session at 5418.70 against the previous close of 5420.60. The 50-share index sank to a low of 5372.45 in the early minutes.
Sensex slipped below the 18k mark to 17,948.91, losing 121.28 points or 0.67 per cent. The Bombay Stock Exchange sensitive index opened at 17,972.65 versus Wednesdays close of 18,070.19. The 30-share index saw a low of 17,914.78.
IT, metals, realty were the worst hit, while FMCG and healthcare stocks showed signs of holding steady.
Today, we expect the Indian markets to open a negative note following weak global cues. 18,000 level on the Sensex is a crucial support and if this is breached, we could be in for more downside. Pharma, IT and Oil & Gas stocks could outperform while Auto and Banking stocks look weak, said HDFC Securities in its morning note.