Domestic stock markets ended weak in a listless trading on Monday, mostly reciprocating the negative sentiment in other key Asian and European indices even as second-rung stocks bucked the sluggish trade and investors mostly exercised caution ahead of this week's futures & options expiry.
Traders were also wary of the impending rate hike by the US Fed next month, as the move is expected to spook emerging markets, including India, and trigger fresh foreign fund outflows.
After dropping 121 points in intra-day trade, the 30-share BSE S&P Sensex closed the session at 25,819.34, down 49.15 points, or 0.2 percent from previous close.
The broader 50-stock CNX Nifty ended the day at 7,849.25, down 7.30 points, or 0.1 percent.
However, recovery in several non-frontline stocks helped the market breadth end positive, as 1,485 stocks advanced against 1,175 declines on BSE.
Globally, other key Chinese indices Hang Seng fell 0.4 percent and Shanghai Composite was down 0.6 percent while Japan's Nikkei ended a tad higher. All three key European gauges were down around a percent in their mid-day trades.
Domestic stock market experts and traders reckon the sentiment may stay range-bound with a negative bias in a truncated week, while the current month's F&O expiry on Thursday may prompt investors to square off their positions leading to more downside in coming days. Stock markets will remain shut on Wednesday on account of Gurunanak Jayanti.
Local metal stocks were the key laggards in the Sensex space amid worries over the waning Chinese demand. Shares of Hindalco dropped 3.8 percent to Rs 74.35, Vedanta lost 2.9 percent to Rs 90.45 and Tata Steel fell 2.3 percent to Rs 224.40.
Other losers such as ITC, Sun Pharma, Cipla, NTPC, HDFC, ONGC, Hindustan Unilever and BHEL were down 0.5-1 percent each.
However, investors continued to find solace in second-rung stocks amid hazy outlook over several blue-chip companies, with BSE Mid-cap index ending 0.4 percent higher and BSE Small-cap index rising 0.5 percent, thereby outperforming benchmark indices.
Updated Date: Nov 23, 2015 16:40 PM