Indian shares ended down this Thursday on back of heavy selling pressure witnessed in broader markets which pulled the benchmark indexes to its lowest level in eight days. Among index stocks, investors booked profits in rate sensitive shares after recent gains with Tata Motors leading the decline on concerns of JLR sales.
Risk appetite was frail on geopolitical concerns after North Korea threatened a nuclear test on US and after Apple Inc reported below-estimate results in the fourth quarter.
The Bombay Stock Exchange's 30-share index Sensex fell 103 points to end at 19,923.78 while the National Stock Exchange's 50-share Nifty declined 35 points and ended at 6,019.35.
The indexes ended lower since January 16.
In the results calendar, Ashok Leyland, Biocon and Sesa Goa will declare their third quarter performances later today while Maruti Suzuki, Reliance Power and Tata Coffee on January 25.
Globally, Asian shares ended mixed.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.15% to 23,598, Taiwan's Weighted index declined 0.6% to 7,695, Singapore's Straits Times inched up 0.5% to 3,247 while China's Shanghai Composite dropped 0.8% to 2,302 and Japan's Nikkei rose 1.3% to 10,620.
Adding to the concerns was euro-zone woes after preliminary composite purchasing managers' index for France, covering activity in the services and manufacturing sectors combined, came out at 42.7 for the month, down from 44.6 in December.
European markets, however, recovered after a fall of 0.5%. At 1600 IST, France's CAC rose 0.27% to 3,736, Germany's DAX gained 0.06% to 7,712 while UK's FTSE was up 0.24% to 6,212.
Back home, autos, banks, real-estate, power, metals, consumer durables, health care indexes dropped while capital goods, FMCG, IT indexes gained on BSE.
Among key Sensex stocks, Larsen & Toubro gained 1.6%, ONGC ended up 1%, TCS and Wipro gained 1% and 0.6% respectively while HUL & ITC rose nearly 2% each on BSE.
Among losers, Tata Motors tanked 6% while Maruti Suzuki and Bajaj Auto dropped 1.5% and 1.2% respectively, GAIL fell 4.6%, Cipla shed 3.7%, Hindalco and Sterlite Industries declined over 3% on BSE.
The other notable movers include Larsen and Toubro, country's biggest construction company, which moved higher by 1% at Rs 1,578, bouncing back 6.4% from intra-day’s low after the engineering major said its order inflow grew 14% year-on-year (yoy) at Rs 19,545 crore during the October-December quarter (Q3)
Housing Development & Infrastructure Ltd which slumped nearly 22% to Rs 74.65 per share.
In the last two days HDIL's market capital of almost Rs 1,565 crore has been wiped out after promoter Sarang Wadhawan sold 5 million shares or 1% stake, worth Rs 57 crore in secondary markets on Tuesday, thus reducing his stake to 0.99% from 2.19%.
Tata Motors has tanked over 6% to Rs 293 after the company said that EBITDA or operating margin for December quarter (Q3) is likely to be slightly lower than in the previous two quarters.
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has rallied up to 6% and ended 1% higher on reports that the government may raise the gas prices sometime this calendar year. ONGC has surged 6.3% to Rs 354, while Oil India soared 4% to Rs 555 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Reliance Communications fell 9% at Rs 80 after reporting a 43% year-on-year (yoy) decline in its consolidated net profit at Rs 105 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2012 (Q3), due to higher financial charges.
The broader markets tanked with mid-caps and small-caps ending lower by 2.4-2.5% on BSE.
The market breadth was negative. Out of 2,985 stocks traded, 1,503 stocks declined compared to 482 advances on BSE.