The Indian equity markets closed in the red with the Sensex ending at 18579.50, 52.67 points lower (0.28 percent) and the Nifty at 5649.50, 13.95 points down (0.25 percent) as investors brace for today's F&O expiry and next month's earnings season.
The equity markets have rallied six percent this month after the UPA government initiated reforms and allowed FDI in retail, broadcast and aviation sectors.
Dharmesh Dalal, head of equities, Antique Stock Broking, told CNBC-TV18 that the rally does have lot of steam. "India is again shining after certain rounds of sentimental booster by the government."
Globally, however, problems persist with regard to the eurozone debt crisis amid fears that Spain is likely to be the next regional nation to seek a full bailout. Greece is struggling to convince international lenders about its seriousness in dealing with spiraling budget deficit. The US is likely to face challenges next year when automatic spending cuts kick in while China too is under tremendous pressure.
The finance ministry and RBI will meet today to discuss the government's borrowing plan for the second half of the fiscal year. Ministry sourced told Reuters that India will miss its deficit target.
Additionally, the yellow metal was trading near its lowest level in more than three weeks due to a stronger rupee, offsetting firm global markets.
While Moody's retained its stable outlook on India, backed by consumer demand, Credit Suisse has cut GDP forecast for India for the current fiscal to 6 percent from the earlier 6.5 percent. S&P has forecast the growth at 5.5 percent.
Finance Minister Chidambaram told the media today that the Prime Minister wants measures to avoid volatility in the rupee underlining government concern about one of Asia's worst performing currencies this year.
The Supreme Court notice to the government on the appointment of appointment of UK Sinha as the SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) chief will have some bearing on the markets.
Among the sectoral indices, Oil and Gas and IT stocks were most hit.
Stocks in news
Shares of three public sector oil marketing companies were down by 0.76% to 1.85% as crude oil prices edged higher today, 27 September 2012. Indian Oil Corporation (down 1.85%), HPCL (down 1.16%) and BPCL (down 0.76%), ended lower.
SKSwas up 5 percent after Morgan Stanley Asia (Singapore) bought 45 lakh shares in the company.
United Spirits was up 10 percent, the stock's 20-month high on positive indication that Diageo will eventually pick up stake in the company.
Other gainers on the Index were Tata Power, Mahindra and Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki while ONGC, BHEL and Infosys posted losses.