After starting the day on a firm note, Sensex swayed between positive and negative territory near the level of 16,500 during most of the time and then plunged 329.35 points at a day's low of 16,196.02 from its previous close of 16,525.37 in the last hour of trade. It recovered over 100 points before closing with a loss of 1.27 per cent as capital goods stocks rose after L&T posted a healthy growth for the fourth quarter of FY08.
Similarly, the broader based S&P CNX Nifty index of National Stock Exchange was down 83.05 points or 1.69 per cent to close at 4835.30 from its previous close of 4,918.35.
Moreover, the market remained rangebound for most of the session and tumbled sharply in the last hour of the trade. Major selling pressure was witnessed in auto and banking counters, which dragged down the bourses, stock brokers said.
Majority of the sectoral indices on BSE ended the day in red. Midcap and Small cap were marginally low at 6,741.76 and 8,181.07, respectively. The NSE's futures&options (F&O) segment turnover was at Rs 64758.96 crore, higher than Rs 56333.67 crore in the previous session. BSE clocked a turnover of Rs 5915 crore against Rs 5,431.78 crore yesterday.
A total of 1115 shares advanced as compared to 1537 stocks that declined on the BSE, while 109 stocks remained unchanged. India's largest engineering&construction firm Larsen&Toubro soared 6.64 pc at Rs 2889.10. It had touched a high of Rs 2949 today. The firm recommended a 1:1 bonus issue and a total dividend of Rs 17 per share for the year ended March 2008. The company reported a 37.95 pc rise in net profit to Rs 966.76 crore for quarter four of FY08.
Tata Motors slid 8.22 pc at Rs 582.55. Tata Motors has announced that it plans to raise about Rs 7,200 crore through three simultaneous but separate rights issues, including an issue of equity shares worth up to Rs 2,200 crore.
Reliance Industries rose 2.19 pc at Rs 2466.50, Reliance Communication by 3.92pc at Rs 573.20, Cipla by 2.98pc at Rs 213.95, Satyam Computer by 2.30pc at Rs 526.25. Ranbaxy Laboratories was up 1.77pc at Rs 504.60 and Wipro by 1.25pc at Rs 512.50 to be among top gainers.
Bankex underperformed the Sensex, dropped 2.71pc to 7,718.81.
State Bank of India was down 3.62pc at Rs 1464, ICICI Bank fell 2.79 pc at Rs 797.30, Allahabad Bank was down 4.42pc at Rs 81.05, Bank of India down 4.32pc at Rs 288.85, Kotak Mahindra Bank skid 3.635 at Rs 680.05, Axis Bank declined 3.39pc at Rs 783.30 and HDFC Bank by 2.01pc at Rs 1,324.40.