The Indian equity benchmarks came off intraday highs on the back of selling pressure in information technology and pharma shares. The Sensex fell as much as 540 points from the day's highest level and Nifty 50 index dropped below its important psychological level of 14,350 after hitting an intraday high of 14,449.05. Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra and Dr Reddy's Labs were among the biggest drags on the Sensex while buying in banking shares on account of short-covering were providing support to the benchmarks, analysts said.
As of 11:52 am, the Sensex was up 87 points at 47970 and Nifty 50 index advanced 10 points to 14,320.
Rising coronavirus cases are keeping the investors at bay from risk assets, analysts said.
Nine of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading higher led by the Nifty Auto index's nearly 2 per cent gain. Nifty Bank, Private Bank, Realty and Metal indices also rose over 1 per cent.
On the other hand, Nifty IT index dropped nearly 4 per cent dragged by Tata Consultancy Services after its profit missed analysts' estimates in quarter ended March 2021. Pharma stocks were also witnessing selling pressure on account of profit booking after recent outperformance.
Mid- and small-cap shares were witnessing mild buying interest as Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indices were up 0.4 per cent each.
Mahindra & Mahindra was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose nearly 5 per cent to 787. Bajaj Finserv, ONGC, Maruti Suzuki, Power Grid, Bajaj Finance, HDFC Life, ICICI Bank, Titan and Axis Bank also rose between 1.5-3.5 per cent.
On the flipside, TCS was top Nifty gainer, the stock dropped 4.45 per cent to Rs 3,102. Tech Mahindra, Adani Ports, Dr Reddy's Labs, Wipro, HCL Technologies, Infosys, Nestle India, Cipla, Asian Paints and Divi's Labs were also among the losers.
The overall market breadth was positive as 1,606 shares were advancing while 1,010 were declining on the BSE.