Markets ended lower this Monday with 30-share sensitive index, Sensex touching its lowest level in four months as investors remain concerned over the fate of Congress-led UPA government amid lack of support from its key political allies.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam last week withdrew support from the UPA government over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue and ruled out any reconciliation, a move that makes the government vulnerable despite its assertions of having a Parliamentary majority.
Reflecting the frail sentiments, the Bombay Stock Exchange's 30-share index Sensex ended down 54.18 points at 18,681.42, its lowest level since November 27 while the National Stock Exchange's 50-share Nifty fell 17.50 points at 5,633.85.
Global risk appetite, however, remained firm after Cyprus sealed $13 billion deal with troika which includes the European Central Bank, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund averting financial crisis.
Japan's Nikkei ended up 1.7% to 12,546.46, Strait Times added 0.45% to 3,273, Hang Seng gained 0.59% to 22,246 while Shanghai dropped 0.1% to 2,326.
The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 0.8%, bouncing off its lowest level in three months struck earlier last week. South Korean shares jumped 1.5% after closing the previous week at a 5-week low.
Back home, real-estate, consumer durables, power sectors gained while capital goods, metal, banks, auto and FMCG were among the laggards on BSE.
Blue-chip stocks such as ITC, ICICI Bank, SBI, Infosys and Bharti Airtel shed 0.5-2% on BSE. The other key losers were Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra and Bajaj Auto declining nearly 1% while Sterlite and Hindalco Industries ended down 1-1.5% today.
The gainers were ONGC surging 3.5%, HDFC rose 1%, NTPC added 1.5% while Reliance Industries and HUL were up 0.2% each on BSE.
The other notable movers included, Nestle India which dropped 2% at Rs 4,610 after the company increased its royalty rate to 4.5% from the earlier 3.5% of sales.
This increase approved by Nestle India board is based on the lower limit of the ranges established by the two Indian firms.
As per the company Nestle SA had requested two years ago for a review of the two decades old royalty rates and subsequently substantiated the same by a study conducted by Mckinsey & Co.
Godrej Properties has moved higher by over 1% at Rs 521.45 after the board of Mumbai-based real estate developer said its board of directors has approved stock-split.
After a brief drop into the red, shares of Hindustan Unilever gained nearly 1% after Deutsche Bank upgraded India's largest consumer goods maker to "buy" from "neutral" and raised its target price to Rs 530 from Rs 500.
The broader markets dropped with mid-caps and small-caps shedding 0.4-0.7% on BSE.
The market breadth was negative. Out of 3,034 stocks traded, 1,876 stocks declined compared to 1,035 advances on BSE.