Markets ended marginally lower on Wednesday after postponement of hike in diesel prices which would help reduce subsidy burden dampened sentiment and ahead of expiry of July derivative contracts with HUL and Reliance Industries [ Get Quote ] leading the decline.
The 30-share Sensex ended at 16,846 down 72 points or 0.43% and the 50-share Nifty ended at 5,110 down by 19 points or 0.36%.
The Sensex and the Nifty reached an intra-day low of 16,737 levels and 5,077 mark, respectively.
The rupee falls to 56.28/30 from its 56.12/13 previous close, though above session low of 56.44.
Dealers say USD/INR off session high as euro rallies on media reports that European Central Bank policymaker Ewald Nowotny saw grounds for giving the euro zone bailout fund a banking license.
On the global front, the Nikkei share average fell 1.4% on Wednesday to a seven-week closing low after disappointing results from Apple Inc results hit the iPhone maker's Japanese suppliers, while printer makers fell after Lexmark International cut its outlook.
Worries about slowing global growth and the deepening euro zone sovereign debt crisis have bitten into U.S. and Japanese corporate earnings. Of 26 U.S. firms that have revised third-quarter profit forecasts since mid-June, 19 have cut them, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The Nikkei dropped 122.19 points to 8,365.90, edging closer to its June 4 low of 8,238.96.
The benchmark has fallen 7 per cent so far this month, and is down 1 percent this year.
The euro jumped and European shares turned higher on Wednesday after a European Central Bank policymaker said there were reasons to boost the firepower of the euro zone's new bailout fund to tackle the region's deepening debt crisis. CAC, DAX and FTSE have gained between 0.1-1%.
Back home, Pranab Mukherjee [ Images ] was today sworn in as the country's 13th President at an impressive ceremony in the Central Hall of Parliament.
On the sectoral front, BSE Metal and Consumer Durable indices indices fell by almost 2% each followed by counters like Power, PSU, Capital Goods, Auto and Oil & Gas, all declining by almost 1% each.
However, BSE FMCG and IT indices ended marginally in green zone.
JSPL was the top Sensex loser, down by over 4% at Rs 397, its lowest level since June 2009 after reporting 59% year-on-year (yoy) fall in consolidated net profit at Rs 385 crore for the quarter ended June 2012, due to a provision of Rs 574 crore for its impaired investment in Bolivia.
The company had reported a net profit of Rs 933 crore in a year ago quarter.
Among other metal shares, Hindalco [ Get Quote ], Tata Steel [ Get Quote ], Coal India and Sterlite declined between 1-2%.
FMCG major HUL dropped by over 2%.
The stock surged yesterday after reporting April-June quarterly earnings that handily beat estimates. CLSA upgraded its target price on the stock to Rs 485 while retaining its 'overweight' rating, calling HUL's earnings 'a strong all-around performance.'
Meanwhile, ITC was the top Sensex gainer, up nearly 2% ahead of its Q1FY13 results scheduled to be announced on Thursday.
From the Consumer Durable space, Titan Industries [ Get Quote ], VIP Industries [ Get Quote ], TTK Prestige [ Get Quote ] and Videocon [ Get Quote ] were down 1-3% each.
Auto shares like Tata Motors [ Get Quote ], M&M, Hero Moto and Maruti Suzuki [ Images ] slipped between 0.2-1%.
Shares in state-run oil exploration and refining companies fell on media reports the government is not likely to raise prices of diesel in the near term. ONGC [ Get Quote ], IOL, BPCL [ Get Quote ] and HPCL [ Get Quote ] fell between 1-2%.
Other notable losers include Wipro [ Get Quote ], NTPC, SBI [ Get Quote ], Dr Reddy's Lab, Tata Power [ Get Quote ], Bharti Airtel [ Get Quote ] and RIL.
On the gaining side, Sun Pharma [ Get Quote ], GAIL India [ Get Quote ], Cipla, TCS [ Get Quote ], HDFC Bank [ Get Quote ] and ICICI Bank [ Get Quote ] ended in positive zone.
The broader indices ended weak with BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices declining by nearly 1%.
The market breadth in BSE remained dismal with 1,708 shares declining and 1,084 advancing.
Excel Crop Care [ Get Quote ] soared 7% on reporting a robust 85% year-on-year (yoy) growth in net profit at Rs 10.96 crore for the quarter ended June 2012, on back of higher net sales.
The agrochemicals maker had reported a net loss of Rs 8 lakh in March quarter. Total operational income grew 30% at Rs 214 crore on y-o-y basis.
Orissa Minerals Development Company (OMDC) locked upper circuit of 20% at Rs 36,377 on getting environment clearance from Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) for its KoIha-Roida iron and manganese mines.
Polaris [ Get Quote ] Financial Technology gained on reporting 37% growth in net profit at Rs 61 crore in June 2012 quarter from Rs 45 crore in the corresponding quarter of previous fiscal. Revenues grew 26% at Rs 569 crore on year-on-year (yoy) basis.
Torrent Power [ Get Quote ] tanked 7% after reporting 70% year-on-year (yoy) drop in net profit at Rs 104 crore for the quarter ended June 2012, due to higher power purchase cost.
Operating profit margin too, declined to 16% from 31% for the quarter under review.
Fulford (India) hit the upper circuit of 10% at Rs 771 after its promoter, Dashtag, along with Merck & Co Inc made an open offer to acquire additional stake in the company at a price of Rs 830 per share.
Shares of companies which are excluded from futures & options (F&O) segment were under pressure on the bourses with most of them trading lower by up to 5% on the NSE.
The NSE has decided to remove 51 securities from F&O segment as the exchange revised eligibility criteria for stocks, after Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) tightened the criteria for retaining and including stocks in the derivatives segment to 'improve market integrity'.
Sterlite Technologies, Development Credit Bank [ Get Quote ], Lanco Infratech [ Get Quote ], Educomp Solutions [ Get Quote ], JSW Ispat Steel, Jet Airways [ Get Quote ] (India), Balrampur Chini Mills [ Get Quote ], MTNL [ Get Quote ], TVS Motor Company [ Get Quote ] and India Infoline [ Get Quote ] were down 3-5% on the NSE. BEML, Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals, Delta Corp, Aban Offshore [ Get Quote ], Escorts, Ruchi Soya Industries [ Get Quote ], Bajaj [ Images ] Hindusthan and Hindustan Oil Exploration Company [ Get Quote ] were down more than 2% each.