Stock markets today opened on a subdued note on the first trading day of new fiscal 2016-17, with the benchmark BSE Sensex sliding almost 124 points and NSE Nifty slipping below the crucial 7,700-mark in early trade, despite positive economic data.
The growth in eight core sectors expanded to a 15-month high of 5.7 per cent in February due to sharp pick-up in natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, cement and electricity generation.
The 30-share index, which had gained 441.40 points in the previous two sessions, fell 123.82 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 25,218.04 in early trade today.
Stocks of auto, metal, oil&gas, banking and technology sectors were leading the fall in early trade.
Bharti Airtel, Tata Steel, M&M, HDFC Ltd, Tata Motors, ICICI Bank, Dr Reddy’s, SBI, Hero MotoCorp, Axis Bank, GAIL and RIL dropped up to 2.22 per cent.
In contrast, BHEL, Wipro, Asian Paints, Cipla, Coal India and Hindustan Unilever were trading in the positive zone.
The broad-based NSE Nifty dipped below the 7,700-mark by falling 38.80 points, or 0.50 per cent, to 7,699.60.
Brokers said profit-booking in stocks that logged gains recently and negative cues from other Asian markets and overnight losses at the US market, had an impact.
Moreover, a cautious approach adopted by participants on the first trading session of fiscal 2016-17 too influenced sentiments, they added.
In the Asian region, Japan’s Nikkei fell 2.91 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 1.35 per cent in early trade. Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.42 per cent.
The US Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.18 per cent down yesterday.