The BSE benchmark Sensex on Tuesday staged a smart recovery of almost 250 points to end the day on a flat note after plunging to four-month low level at mid-session of trade on weak global trends.
The Sensex resumed sharply lower and lost further on weak Asian cues on the back of overnight steep fall on the Wall Street yesterday. A weaker-than-expected US manufacturing data and concerns over China slowdown sparked a selloff globally.
Moving in tune with global indices, the Sensex nosedived by 246 points to nearly four-month low of 19,963.12 at mid-session, a level last seen on October 9, 2013.
Consistent selling by foreign funds too aided the downslide. Foreign institutional investors, after selling Rs 581.60 crore on last Friday, pulled out Rs 735.73 crore yesterday, as per provisional data with stock exchanges.
"Profit-booking post the rally in 2013, doubts over the strength of the Chinese economy coupled with concerns on emerging market currencies saw the global markets coming off from the peak," said Dipen Shah, Head, Private Client Group Research, Kotak Securities.
A rebound in IT, banking, FMCG, power, realty and auto shares helped the bellwether index to regain the lost ground and close a tad higher by 2.67 points at 20,211.93 than its previous close.
On Monday, the Sensex had plunged by 304.59 points.
The 50-issue Nifty of NSE also bounced back from 4-month intra-day low of 5,877.10, logged on October 9, 2013, to close almost steady at 6,000.90 from 6,001.80.
Among gainers, Bharti Airtel was the best performer among Sensex scrips at 3.43% amid the ongoing spectrum auction.
NTPC at 3.37%, Tata Motor 2.76%, Bajaj Auto 1.96 per wescent, SBI 1.76%, ITC 1.40%, Coal India 1.34%, HDFC Bank 1.29% and Hero MotoCorp 1.27%.
IT stocks were at the receiving end after economic data in US, the biggest outsourcing market for Indian IT firms, showed a weak trend. Top three software services exporters TCS, Infosys and Wipro closed down by 1.89%, 1.71% and 1.78%, respectively.
Besides IT stocks, big losers were M&M at 3.47%, followed by Gail India 3.01%, BHEL 2.45%, Dr Reddy's Lab 2.02% and Sun Pharma 1.09%.
Of 30-share Sensex pack, 16 scrips out ended higher, 13 closed lower and Tata Power ruled steady.
Among the S&P BSE sectoral indices, Bankex firmed up 0.90%, FMCG 0.78%, realty 0.57% and auto 0.57%, while IT dropped by 1.78%, Teck 0.98% and HC 0.62%.
The overall market breadth turned positive as 1,269 stocks ended in green, 1,232 finished lower while 146 ruled steady.
The total turnover rose to Rs 1,810.27 crores from Rs 1,747.45 crore On Monday.
Jignesh Chaudhary, Head of Research, Veracity Broking Services, said: "Indian equity markets continued a weak trading even on Tuesday, as global markets have seen some major selloffs... There was a weakness in regional Asian markets as well, which kept the pressure on Indian equity markets."
Asian stocks tumbled amid a global equities selloff. Key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea fell between 0.84% and 4.18%.
European markets were also trading lower after a sharp drop on the Wall Street triggered by disappointing US economic data. Key indices in Germany, UK and France moved down by 0.03 to 0.79%.
US stocks fell on Monday sending benchmark indices to their biggest declines since June, as manufacturing in the world's largest economy slowed more than estimated.