Benchmark share indices ended lower on Thursday, amid a volatile trading session, on profit taking in software shares on concerns that the appreciating rupee would hurt margins going forward. Index heavyweight Reliance Industries also witnessed profit taking after public interest litigation was filed in the Supreme Court on Wednesday stating that the consent mechanism by market regulator Sebi favoured the company. Thursday was the expiry of September derivative contracts.
The 30-share Sensex ended at 18,580 down 53 points and the 50-share Nifty ended at 5,650 down by 14. The Sensex and the Nifty reached an intra-day low of 18,553 levels and 5,640 mark, respectively.
On the global front, Asian markets ended higher with Chinese shares soaring, amid reports the country's central bank injected a record amount of liquidity into the banking system. Nikkei, Strait Times, Hang Seng, Taiwan, Kospi and Shanghai Composite gained between 0.2-3 per cent.
European shares and the euro reclaimed some of the previous day's sharp losses early on Thursday, amid hopes Spain's budget could nudge Madrid towards accepting a rescue programme and allow the ECB to launch its new bond buying plan. CAC, DAX and FTSE have gained between 0.4-1 per cent.
Back home, on the sectoral front, BSE FMCG, Consumer Durable and Capital Goods indices gained 1-2 per cent. However, BSE Oil & Gas index declined by nearly 2 per cent followed by counters like TECk, IT and Metal, all declining by nearly 1 per cent each.
From the Oil & Gas space, ONGC and Reliance Inds declined by almost 2 per cent each. The new consent mechanism introduced by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) in May favours Reliance Industries, which has applied for consent settlement in an insider trading case, according to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Bangalore-based Arun Aggarwal in the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
The petition seeks the removal of Sebi chairman UK Sinha on several charges including alleged lobbying by corporate interests to facilitate his appointment.
IT majors like Infosys, TCS and Wipro plummeted between 1-1.5 per cent. Among Metal segment, Sterlite was the top Sensex loser, down nearly 3 per cent.
Other notable losers include BHEL, Hero Moto, Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors, ICICI Bank, GAIL and Cipla.
On the winning side, Tata Power surged by almost 2 per cent ahead of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) final hearing on the tariff revision plea of the company for the 4,000 MW Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) later on Thursday.
FMCG majors like ITC and HUL gained between 1-2 per cent.
Other notable gainers included L&T, M&M, Maruti Suzuki, SBI, Tata Steel. The broader indices out performed the benchmarks BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices ended higher between 0.2-0.5 per cent.
The market breadth in BSE ended positive with 1,515 advancing and 1,335 shares declining.
Man Industries (India) locked 5 per cent of upper circuit at Rs 216, also its lifetime high after the promoters raised their holdings in the company through open market purchase.
Shares of Vijay Mallya promoted companies extended their rally and ended more than 4 per cent after United Spirits said it resumed talks with British drinks giant Diageo for a possible stake sale.
United Breweries (Holdings), United Breweries, Kingfisher Airlines and United Spirits ended higher by 1-2 per cent on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). All these stocks gained more than 10 per cent each in past two trading sessions.
Max India ended higher by 5 per cent at Rs 212 after Dynavest India, one of the promoter group firms, acquired around 2 per cent stake of the company for Rs 100 crore through open market transactions.
Shares of cement maker mainly mid-and-small sized companies rallied on expectations that demand would revive as the monsoon season comes to an end.
The shares of fertiliser companies were in limelight on the bourses on reports that the Finance Ministry has asked the Fertiliser Ministry to accelerate the proposal to raise urea prices to reduce subsidy burden.
Among the individual stocks, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers, National Fertilisers and Chambal Fertilisers gained between 1-5 per cent.
Claris Lifesciences rallied 8 per cent to Rs 244, extending its 7 per cent rise in past two days, on back of over three-fold jump in trading volumes.
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) tanked 15 per cent to Rs 33 on back of heavy volumes as the stock will be out from the National Stock Exchange derivative segment.