Sensex resumed the day firmly at 19,972.75, 104.60 points up from its previous close of 19,868.11 and soon afterward slipped into negative zone to touch a low of 19,652.55, shedding over 320 points on profit booking in the mid-morning trade. ICICI Bank fell sharply. Consumer durables and oil and gas stocks perked up. Out of 30, 18 stocks from the Sensex pack were in red. The market breadth was strong. Asian markets, which opened before Indian markets, were mostly in the red.
A meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on fuel pricing is scheduled today. There had been reports recently that the government may hike petrol prices by a steep Rs 4 per litre and diesel by Rs 2 per litre. A steep hike retail fuel prices will result in increase in inflation.
The broader based CNX S &P Nifty index at National Stock Exchange (NSE) was down 10.85 points to 5924.90. The BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.88 per cent to 9,348.98 and BSE Small-Cap index was up 1.07 per cent to 12,655.82.
Frontliners, Reliance Industries (RIL) rose 0.66 per cent to Rs 3118.80, ICICI Bank fell 3.32 per cent to Rs 1323.75, while Larsen&Toubro rose 0.75 per cent to Rs 4019.95. Hindustan Unilever rose 1.42 per cent to Rs 217.70, Grasim Industries moved up 1.21 per cent to Rs 3299.90, ACC flared up 1.16 per cent to Rs 866.40, ITC perked up 1.01 per cent to Rs 210.90 and Ranbaxy Laboratories climbed 0.96 per cent to Rs 382.35.
Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) declined 3.21 per cent, HDFC Bank skid 3.33 per cent, Reliance Energy was down 2.23 per cent, DLF gave away 2.80 per cent and Tata Motors fell 1.90 per cent in the early trade.