RTTNews - While weak overseas cues and concerns about the progress of monsoon dragged the Indian market further on Monday, short covering at lower levels helped stocks cut their losses in the afternoon. However, second-line stocks met with heavy selling pressure.

The BSE Sensex opened lower at 13,406 and fell to a low of 13,220 before finishing at 13,400, down 104 points or 0.77% from its previous close. Likewise, the S&P CNX Nifty fell 30 points or 0.75% to 3,974, while the broad-based BSE 500 index lost 1.47%, the mid-cap index moved down 2.84% and the small-cap index shed 3.38%.

The market breadth on the BSE was extremely negative, as losers outnumbered gainers by 2007 to 569, with 56 stocks closing unchanged. Sector-wise, consumer durable, realty, metal and auto stocks bore the brunt of the selling, but IT stocks finished in positive terrain.

Among the major decliners, Reliance Infrastructure lost over 6%, Jaiprakash Associates and Tata Steel tumbled over 4% each and Maruti Suzuki, Hero Honda Motors, Hindalco and DLF ended down, losing more than 3% each.

Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Larsen & Tourbo, Reliance Communication, Bharti Airtel, Tata Power, Reliance Industries and Hindustan Unilever were the other prominent losers.

On the other hand, Sun Pharma, Infosys, Grasim, Sterlite Industries, Wipro, TCS, ONGC, ICICI Bank, HDFC, SBI and ITC closed in the green.

Among IT stocks, Tata Consultancy Services edged up 0.95%, Wipro gained 1.30% and Infosys Technologies added 2.40%, shrugging off reports that Israeli tech firms are looking at emerging markets such as India and China for contacts in e-governance projects.

Nagarjuna Construction fell 3.50% after it dropped a proposal to issue share warrants to private equity firm Blackstone due to a lack of approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. Reliance Industries fell 1.72% and Essar Oil ended down 0.83% amid reports the government is open to allowing private sector oil firms, the access to subsidy on domestic fuel sales.

Steel stocks such as Tata Steel, SAIL and JSW Steel tumbled after Union Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh recently ruled out any hike in import duty on steel products .UTV Software declined 1.98% after its FY09 consolidated net profit dropped 40% year-over-year.

South Indian Bank ended up modestly on reports that it is in talks with Geojit Financial Services, IDBI and Muthoot group, to offer online trading services IndusInd Bank fell over 3% after it invested Rs.50 crore in Lavasa Corporation, a subsidiary of Hindustan Construction Company(HCC), in the form of convertible debentures. HCC also ended down 3.49%.

Bharti Airtel fell 2.06% on speculation that market regulator SEBI could seek further information on Bharti's proposed $23 billion dollar merger deal with South Africa's MTN Group. Tata Motors ended down nearly 3% on reports that it is drawing up plans for an extended shutdown of its U.K. plants to cope up with mounting losses.

Sterlite Industries rose 1.48% after it received shareholder nod to raise funds through the issue of securities under the QIP route. Omaxe slumped 5.27% even as its subsidiary Pancham Realcon Pvt entered into a MoU with Allahabad Development Authority for the development of a Hi-Tech Township in Allahabad at an estimated cost of Rs.1,800 crore.

Axis Bank added 2.27% after reporting a 70% year-over-year rise in its June quarter net profit. Yes Bank fell 1.28% on reports that it will foray in the retail lending segment by the beginning of the next financial year.

Shipping Corporation of India ended down 0.65% after it inked a pact with Cochin Shipyard to acquire 2 platform supply vessels. Dabur India rose 0.77% after Jaquline Inc. USA has become a step down subsidiary of the company.

Retailers closed mixed after the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia said that there was no proposal to change the FDI policy in the retail sector. Vishal Retail and Indiabulls Retail Services fell nearly 5% each, while Pantaloon Retail rose 1.22% and Shoppers' Stop ended flat

Six sugar stocks slumped across the board on speculation the government would allow tax-free raw sugar imports beyond July 31.Balrampur Chini Mills plunged 8.60%, Bajaj Hindustan plummeted 12.69%, Shree Renuka Sugars slumped 7.61% and Sakthi Sugars tumbled 5%. Similarly, fertilizer stocks also came under heavy selling pressure due to inadequate progress of monsoon.

Reliance Capital fell 2.51% on speculation its insurance joint venture, Reliance Life Insurance, may not be able to come out with an initial public offer now as it has not finished 10 years of operation. BGR Energy Systems soared 5.19% after bagging a contract worth Rs.1631.80 crore from Maharashtra State Power Generation Company.

Elsewhere, the other Asian markets ended in the red, European stocks were last trading flat after declining in early trading and U.S. stocks are set for yet another lower opening Monday morning, as traders turn jittery ahead of the reporting season amid conflicting views on the time frame for the end of the slowdown or the beginning of a recovery in the world's largest economy.

Light sweet crude oil for August delivery recovered most of the early losses in Asian trading and was last trading at $59.83 a barrel, down $0.06 from its previous close.

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