Concerns over a lower GDP growth forecast in the current fiscal along with profit-taking on the eve of RBI policy meet pulled down the benchmark Nifty by 22 points at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) today.
Against the backdrop of sharp industrial slowdown amid lingering uncertainties in the global economy, the Government, in its mid-year economic review, lowered GDP projection for FY13 to 5.7Ņ5.9 per cent, down sharply from 7.6 per cent estimated earlier, dampening the overall market sentiment.
After a flat opening, the 50-share index mostly traded in a tight range in absence of any supportive cues amid modest selling in select heavyweights.
The directionless market gradually gave away its range bound movement and slipped into negative zone in late morning on cautious approach by investors, who preferred to keep their position light ahead of the tomorrow's RBI policy meet.
FMCG, technology, capital goods and infra shares came under heavy sell-off. On the other hand, rate sensitive stocks like metal, auto, financials and pharma saw heavy buying.
Market players seem divided over possibility of a rate cut. Expectations are high that RBI may cut its key policy rate by 25 bps due to moderation in inflation, traders said.
Inflation declined to a 10-month low of 7.24 per cent in November from 7.45 per cent in October.
The Nifty oscillated between a high of 5,886.05 and a low of 5,850.15 before concluding at 5,857.90, a fall of 21.70 points, or 0.37 per cent, over the last close.
Bharti Airtel, TCS, BPCL, BHEL, HDFC Bank, HDFC, JP Associates, Wipro, and Ambuja Cement were top losers from the Nifty pack. Key gainers included Hindalco, Sesa Goa, Jindal Steel, Cipla, Grasim, Ranbaxy, Tata Power, Maruti, Bajaj Auto and NTPC.
The turnover in cash segment declined to Rs 11,071.42 crore from Rs 11,385.46 crore last weekend. Overall, 6,595.03 lakh shares changed hands in 58,69,104 trades. Total market capitalisation stood at Rs 66,31,587 crore.