At 1:20pm, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 245 points at 24,548 and the Nifty50 was down 60 points at 7,471.
In the broader markets, the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices were down 0.1% each. Market breadth was weak with 1366 losers and 1017 gainers on the BSE.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in equities worth Rs 463 crore on Wednesday, as per provisional stock exchange data.
SECTORS & STOCKS
Shares of metals and miners firmed up after the Cabinet today cleared an amendment in the new mining law that permits transfer of captive mines granted on discretion. Hindalco was up 3.4%, Vedanta gained 1.1%, SAIL rose 1% while Coal India and NMDC were up 0.4% each.
Oil explorers were trading mixed after a surge in early trades after the government today announced a new Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licencing Policy in an effort to boost production and also streamline several hurdles faced by oil exploration companies. ONGC was up 0.6% while Cairn India gained over 3%.
Infosys was down 3% after a huge block deal. In opening trades, around 8.2 million equity shares representing 0.36% of total equity of Infosys changed hands, the NSE data showed. Among others, TCS and Wipro were down 0.9%-1.4% each.
State-owned engineering major BHEL was down 3%. Rating agency CRISIL on Wednesday lowered its rating of long-term bank facilities of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited ( BHEL) citing constrained business risk profile of the capital goods player. Larsen & Toubro eased 1.9%.
Hindustan Unilever was down 1.2%. The company and Pond’s HLL ex-Mercury Employees Welfare Association, representing workers at the multinational’s now-closed thermometer factory in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, both announced the signing of a agreement to settle a long-running dispute on the union’s demand for compensation and rehabilitation.
ITC was down 1.6% on profit taking after gains in the previous sessions.
ICICI Bank was down 0.5%. Moody's on Wednesday said asset quality for ICICI Bank's corporate loans would remain under pressure even beyond March 2016 due to exposure to some big-ticket accounts with weak debt servicing ability. SBI, AXis Bank and HDFC Bank were down 0.9%-1.7% each.
Among others, shares of plywood manufacturers have rallied by up to 11% on the bourses in otherwise weak market. Rushil Décor, Uniply Industries, Greenply Industries and Century Plywood were up 2%-11% on the BSE.