Starting the session in red below 18K level at 17,991.29, Sensex further nose-dived to a low at 17,672.18 from its previous close of 18,075.66 amid high volatility in the mid-morning trade. Broader based Nifty index of National Stock Exchange was down over 125 points on similar sentiments. Except IT index, all the sectoral indices landed into negative zone on strong profit booking sentiments across the counters. The market breadth was weak. BSE Mid-cap and Small-cap index were down over one percent in the mid-morning trade.
IT pivotals edged higher as the rupee slipped to a five-month low against the dollar. HDFC Bank slipped 3.02 per cent to Rs 1516 on thin early volumes of 3711 shares. It was the top loser from Sensex pack.
Reliance Industries (RIL) slipped 1.49 per cent to Rs 2515. As per reports, the company is in advanced talks with the New York-based Vornado Realty Trust, one of the world's top five real estate asset managers, to float a USD 1-billion plus fund.
Other losers in the Sensex pack were Reliance Communications by three per cent to Rs 588, Bharti Airtel by 2.91 per cent to Rs 861.80 and ICICI Bank by 2.94 per cent to Rs 1182.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to boost liquidity, a Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) panel has reportedly recommended that the face value of shares be made uniform at rupee one in two phases. In the first phase, the panel has recommended that all forthcoming IPOs to be priced based on a mandatory rupee one face value per share. In the second phase, listed entities having shares with more than rupee one face value be asked to bring it down to the uniform value. The panel's recommendation would be discussed at the next SEBI board meeting.
As per provisional data on February 19, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased shares worth Rs 329.25 crore whereas, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net sellers of shares worth Rs 48.29 crore.