RTTNews - Weekend profit taking on the back of mixed Asian cues and concerns about poor monsoon rains dragged the Indian market down in early trading on Friday. Crucial monsoon rains, which brings 82 percent of the country's annual rainfall, were 56 percent below normal in the week ended August 12, reports quoting an official spokesperson said.

After a flat opening at 15,530, the BSE Sensex fell to a low of 15,406 in early trading, Since then, the index has recovered some lost ground and is now trading at 15,445, down 73 points or 0.47% from its previous close. The S&P CNX Nifty is down 0.48% and the BSE mid-cap index is edging down 0.13%, while the BSE small-cap index is rising 0.42%.

Sector-wise, IT, realty, banking and auto stocks are leading the market lower, but select oil/gas, public sector and consumer durable stocks are showing modest gains.

Among the major decliners, Jaiprakash Associates is losing 2.21%, Hero Honda Motors is down 1.75%, Maruti Suzuki is declining 1.41%, Infosys is down 1.27% and Wipro is down 0.97%.

HDFC, Tata Motors, ICICI Bank, Reliance Communication, Larsen & Toubro, ITC, BHEL, TCS and HDFC Bank are the other prominent losers.

On the other hand, ONGC, Sterlite, Tata Steel, Tata Power, Grasim Industries, Sun Pharma and Mahindra & Mahindra are trading in positive territory.

Shree Renuka Sugars is down 1.52% after it received nod from the commodity market regulator to buy a 5 percent stake in the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX). HDFC is losing 1.72% after it slashed interest rates by 50 basis points for home buyers in the Rs 30-50 lakh category.

Reliance Industries is down a modest 0.54% and NTPC is down 0.62%,but RNRL is rising over 2% amid reports that the government has constituted a four-member core committee of ministers to monitor the government's stand on the Ambani gas dispute in the Supreme Court.

Dabur India is gaining 0.83% on reports that it eyes acquisitions, especially in sub-Saharan Africa in a concerted fashion. Indian Oil Corporation is adding 1.43% following reports that it plans to open additional 70 auto LPG dispensing outlets by the year-end.

Godrej Consumer Products is up 1.63% on reports that it is ready to acquire some of its joint venture partner Sara Lee's international businesses if the U.S.-based company manages to find a buyer globally.

Sterlite Industries is advancing 1.42% on reports that the government may offer its 49 percent stake in Bharat Aluminium to Sterlite for about Rs.2,000 crore. Tata Motors reportedly plans to spend around Rs 8000 crore over the next three to four years on capital expenditure and product development. The stock is trading down 1.55%.

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