Brokers said, select benchmark indices opened higher boosted by the US Federal Reserve's bailout package for the beleaguered US insurer American International Group (AIG). The US Federal Reserve kept its target for the federal funds rate at two per cent. The US Federal Reserve in a meeting yesterday announced USD 85 billion rescue plan to help AIG in exchange for a 79.9 pc stake. The deal would avoid the biggest corporate bankruptcy ever and follows a government bailout of mortgage lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae earlier this month.
Later, the BSE 30-share Sensex was down 132.54 points to 13,386.26 from its last close. It recorded the low of 13,329.98 and high of 13,620.74 points.
The Nifty index of National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened flat at 4,074.80. Later it registered the day's high and low at 4,116.70 and 4,023.00 points respectively during the session.
IT pivotals were in demand. However, pharma major Ranbaxy Laboratories slumped over eight pc and ICICI Bank shed over four pc.
The market breadth was positive. Ranbaxy Laboratories, India's top drugmaker by sales plunged 8.23 pc to Rs 372.50 and was the top loser among the Sensex pack.
ICICI Bank declined 4.58 pc to Rs 564.25 on reports that the bank would have to take a hit of USD 28 million on account of the additional provisioning that its UK subsidiary will have to make after Lehman Brothers Holdings, the fourth-largest investment bank, filed for bankruptcy, a leading broker said.
Sterlite Industries was down 2.62 pc to Rs 465.20. It was followed by State Bank of India (down by 2.74 pc to Rs 1,542) and ITC (down by 3.37 pc to Rs 187.70). Reliance Industries fell 1.58 pc to Rs 1,898 on 1.60 lakh shares.
IT pivotals surged on fresh buying. India's second largest software services exporter, Infosys, surged 3.95 pc to Rs 1,626 and was the top gainer among the Sensex pack. Wipro was up 1.57 pc to Rs 397.70, Satyam Computer Services gained 2.71 pc to Rs 366 and TCS rose 0.20 pc to Rs 751.