The S and P CNX Nifty index of National Stock Exchange (NSE), however, opened flat at 4,223.90 points. Later, it shed 10.35 points to 4,212.70 from its last close of 4,223.05. It recorded the day's low of 4,142.00 points in mid-morning session. The BSE 30-share Sensex was later down by 47.96 points to 13,943.62. The index registered the low of 13,721.42 and the high of 13,879.06. The BSE Mid-Cap index was down 0.61 pc at 5,189.11 and the BSE Small-Cap index was down 0.72 pc at 6,149.77.
Brokers said the top heavyweight stocks suffered a setback as the bearish phase in the global markets spilled over to the Indian markets. Stocks across the globe declined on concerns that the US Federal Reserve's USD 700 billion bailout plan may not revive the economy. Firmness in crude oil price rekindled inflation worries and added to the negative sentiment.
Crude oil price soared to an intra-day high of USD 130 a barrel yesterday, before easing in a rally, sparked by the expiry of the front-month futures contract and weakness in the US dollar. US light crude for November delivery was down by 42 cents at USD 108.95 a barrel.
Asian markets, however, were mixed. Key indices in countries like China, Hong Kong and Singapore were down by 0.96 per cent to 2.68 pc. However, key indices in Taiwan and South Korea were up by 0.21 pc to 0.96 pc. Japanese financial markets were closed today for Autumnal Equinox Day, a national holiday.
US markets witnessed a sell off yesterday on worries about the government's ability to bailout the financial system. The Dow plunged 372.75 points, or 3.27 pc, to 11,015.69. The S &P 500 index slipped 47.99 points, or 3.82 pc, to 1,207.09, and the Nasdaq Composite index was down by 94.92 points, or 4.17 pc, to 2,178.98.
They both contributed to the downward trend on the Indian bourses, brokers pointed out.
Among the gainers in the Sensex pack, Sterlite Industries was up 1.52 pc at Rs 467.10, followed by ACC (up by 1.16 pc at Rs 632.80), Larsen &Toubro (up by 0.56 pc at Rs 2,591), Tata Power Company (up by 0.24 pc at Rs 1,023.15) and Grasim Industries (up by 0.20 pc at Rs 1,941).
But, Ranbaxy Laboratories was down by 5.10 pc at Rs 329.50. It was followed by DLF (down by 4.43 pc at Rs 402.60), Wipro (down by 3.41 pc at Rs 400.20), Satyam Computers (down by 2.08 pc at Rs 345.90), Bharat Heavy Electrical (down by 2.13 pc to Rs 1,648).
Among other losers, Reliance Industries (RIL) fell by 0.44 pc to Rs 2,028.80, Infosys Technologies shed 2.23 pc to Rs 1,591.55 and ICICI Bank was down by 2.61 pc at Rs 617.10.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net equity buyers worth Rs 138.21 crore, while mutual funds sold shares worth Rs 206.12 crore yesterday, according to provisional data on NSE. They were also net buyers of Rs 511.52 crore in the futures&options segment.