The stock markets have taken a pause after hitting fresh all-time highs this morning as select metal dented the positive sentiment. At 12.00pm, the Sensex traded at 41,843.49, lower by 28 points and the Nifty was at 12,332.1, down 10 points. There was out-performance on the broader market front. The BSE Midcap index was at 15,592, higher by 85 points or 0.5 per cent and the BSE Smallcap index was at 14,607, up 73 points or 0.5 per cent.
The S&P BSE Sensex index had crossed the 42,000 mark for the first time, buoyed by the fact that US and China signed the first phase of a trade deal. The BSE benchmark index rose as much as 186.72 points to touch 42,059.45 in the first hour of trade. The broader NSE Nifty benchmark index also climbed to an all-time high of 12,389.05, up 45.75 points.
Metal stocks were among the major losers of the day; Tata Steel had weakened by 1.6 per cent at Rs 493, while Hindalco had lost 0.1 per cent at Rs 210, JSW Steel lost 1.7 per cent at Rs 277 and Vedanta lost 2 per cent at Rs 161. On the other hand, stocks such as Hindustan Unilever and Sun Pharma were going strong, registering gains of about 1 per cent each.
In stock-specific news, Market heavyweights Reliance Industries was up 0.4 per cent at Rs 1,531 and TCS was trading 0.3 per cent higher at Rs 2,233 ahead of their financial results on Friday.
Bharti Airtel was trading 1 per cent higher at Rs 473 and Vodafone had gained 1 per cent at Rs 6 ahead of AGR review plea in SC. There are hopes that Supreme Court may provide the 2 telcos some relief against an earlier verdict on adjusted gross revenue (AGR). The earlier AGR verdict had widened the definition of AGR to include non-core revenue, leaving telcos to shell out hefty statutory dues of more than Rs 4.45 lakh.
Infosys shares declined 5 points or 0.7 per cent at Rs 762, giving up some of their recent gains registered after the IT major reported its earnings for the October-December period. Last week, the country's second largest IT services company beat Street estimates by reporting a sequential rise of 10.9 per cent in net profit for the quarter ended December 31.
The market breadth was positive. Out of 2327 stocks traded omn the BSE, there were 1267 advancing stocks as against 913 declines.