Benchmark indices slipped into red with the Chinese industrial output slowing down to 8.6%, as against 9.7% in December. Meanwhile, the retail sales fell to 11.8% as against 13.1% in December. The latest figures are for the month of January and February.
The BSE benchmark, the Sensex was trading 0.4% or 86.56 points lower at 21,769.66 points, while the NSE's Nifty was trading 21.75 or 0.33% lower at 6,495.15 points at 3.00 pm IST.
However, earlier markets had gained more than 0.6% intraday on the back of positive industrial output data (IIP) and easing inflationary pressures. The Sensex touched intraday high of 21,991.36 points, while the Nifty touched intraday high of 6,561.45 points.
The index of industrial production for the month of January stood at 0.1%, highest since September 23, while the consumer price index (CPI) inflation for Februay slowed down to a 25-month low at 8.10%, as per government reports.
Market observers feel the selling pressure on index heavyweights has pulled down markets. "The pressure on index heavyweight like Sun Pharma and Infosys has dragged down the markets. Apart from this markets are facing resistance after the recent rally," said an analyst.
Experts expect markets to consolidate. “As expected, Nifty is consolidating within a range. Positive momentum is likely to continue and Nifty may touch 6800. It may consolidate within a range of 6400 – 6600 in the near term. Support is at 6460 and 6350,” Standard Chartered said in its morning note.
Among individual stocks, Infosys (-8.68%), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (5.21%) and Sesa Sterlite (-1.99%) were the major losers. Among sectoral indices, BSE IT (-4.04%), BSE Realty (-3.81%) and BSE Healthcare (-0.99%) were the major losers.
Shares of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries fell more than 6% intra-day on Thursday on news of a US FDA import alert over its Karkhadi unit in Gujarat. Meanwhile, shares of Infosys plunged more than 9% intra-day on Thursday after the IT giant on Wednesday said that it might only be able to meet the lower end of its annual revenue growth guidance.