Iraq casts gloom: Sensex loses 260 points, Nifty falls 1%

03:30 pm market close: Global crisis cast shadow on Indian market today which triggered a sharp selling. The Sensex ended down 259.87 points or 1.02 percent at 25329.14. The Nifty fell 80.70 points or 1.06 percent at 7568.55. About 855 shares have advanced, 2058 shares declined, and 90 shares are unchanged.

Capital goods, metals and realty stocks were beaten out of shape. Except FMCG and Healthcare, all indices closed in red. Sesa Sterlite, BHEl, Tata Power, Tata Steel and GAIL were major laggards in the Sensex.

However, Bharti Airtel, Dr Reddy's Labs, ITC and HUL bucked the trend.

03:20 pm Fall: Shares of Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) were down, a day after the Tata group hospitality major said its managing director and chief executive officer Raymond Bickson had resigned and will step down from the post on August 31 after serving for over a decade.

"Raymond Bickson, MD and CEO of the company has expressed a desire to resign from the services of the company and pursue his professional interests elsewhere," IHCL, which runs luxury hotels under the Taj brand, said in a filing to the BSE.

While accepting the resignation, the board of directors of the company approved the appointment of Rakesh K Sarna as MD and CEO, effective September 1, it said.

According to Indian Hotels, Sarna has over 30 years experience in leadership positions with Hyatt Hotels

Bickson joined IHCL board in January 2003 as executive director and COO of Taj Luxury Hotels. He assumed the role as MD and CEO in July 2003

03:10 pm Boardroom:  Petronet LNG's Managing Director and CEO AK Balyan is confident of the Kochi-Bangalore pipeline to be operational by the end of FY15. The terminal is currently utilised for storing and reloading services.

Meanwhile, their Dahej terminal is persistently operating at 109 percent capacity, says Balyan in an interview with CNBC-TV18.

"There have been a lot of renewed efforts by the Kerala government and Gail who is going to implement this project but we haven't seen any significant progress in the pipeline. We hope that these efforts would result and maybe this financial year, we may have at least one pipeline Kochi to Mangalore in place. The other Tamil Nadu segment is under litigation, it is under Supreme Court and I am told that this month it is coming up for hearing. This would hopefully be in favour of Gail and we might see Kochi-Bangalore pipeline also via the Tamil Nadu several industrial hubs may come in place. Once it is there, we would definitely see significant utilisation levels of Kochi to the extent about 70 percent jumping in just 10 months time. So we are quite hopeful of that," he said.

03:00 pm Fixed rate for rupee: The Reserve Bank of India today fixedreference rate of the rupee against the US dollar at 61.5575 and of Euro at 82.4125 as against 61.4123 and 82.1672 yesterday.

According to a RBI press release, the exchange rates for the pound and yen against the rupee were quoted at 103.5028 and 60.64 per 100 yen, respectively, based on reference rates for the dollar and cross-currency quotes at noon.

The reference rate is based on the noon rates of select banks here and the SDR-Rupee rate would be based on this rate, the release added.

2:50 pm Force Motors expansion:  Force Motors plans to invest around Rs 1,000 crore over the next four years on various activities, including product development and setting up of a dedicated facility for assembling engines for BMW vehicles.

"We are looking to invest around Rs 1,000 crore in the next four years on technology advancement, new vehicle development and also on a dedicated engine assembly facility for BMW in Chennai," Force Motors Managing Director Prasan Firodia told PTI here.

This investment would be in addition to the Rs 1,000 crore that the company had announced in 2012, he added.

2:40 pm Commodity check: Gold prices again crossed the Rs 29,000-mark to hit over two-month high by rising Rs 300 to Rs 29,100 per ten gram in the national capital today, mostly in tandem with a firming trend overseas as worsening tensions in Iraq fuelled safe-haven demand.

In addition, rising physical demand in view of festive season and depreciating rupee that slumped to five-month low supported the upside in the precious metal prices. Silver also rose by another Rs 200 to Rs 44,700 per kg on increased offtake by industrial units and coin makers.

Traders said besides festive season demand from jewellers and stockists, a firming global trend where gold advanced to three-week high, as haven demand increased on unrest in the Middle East and tension over Ukraine, buoyed the sentiment.

2:30 pm Divestment? Government has identified three sick PSUs which will be either merged or taken over by SAIL, BHEL and HMT, Parliament was informed today. The three sick PSUs are Praga Tools Ltd, Bharat Heavy Plates Vessels and Bharat Refractories Ltd, Minister of State for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman said in a writtenreply to the Lok Sabha.

Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT), Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) and Steel Authority of India (SAIL) have been identified to take over the above mentioned three PSUs.

"On the recommendation of the Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises (BRPSE), concerned administrative ministries/departments have taken approval of the competent authority for the mergers/takeovers," she added

2:20 pm Results: Utility vehicle maker Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) has reported a 4.3 percent growth in first quarter (April-June) profit at Rs 896.4 crore compared to Rs 859.8 crore in same quarter last year driven by operational performance.

Gross revenues and other income of the combined entity (M&M and Mahindra Vehicle Manufacturers - MVML) declined to Rs 10,823.2 crore from Rs 10,942.7 crore during the same period, said the company in its filing, adding operating profit margin for the quarter was 14.3 percent, up 50 basis points compared to 13.8 percent in corresponding quarter of last fiscal.

MVML was set up by the company as a 100 percent subsidiary with a view to sourcing contemporary products for expanding the market offerings of the company.

The Sensex is down 262.59 points or 1 percent at 25326.42 and the Nifty slips 83.60 points or 1 percent at 7565.65. About 659 shares have advanced, 2096 shares declined, and 90 shares are unchanged.

Capital goods and metal stocks are dragging the markets. Sesa Sterlite, BHEL, Tata Power, Hindalco and Tata Steel are top losers in the Sensex.

World shares and the dollar tumbled while oil and gold jumped after US President Barack Obama authorised targeted air strikes in Iraq, raising worries of another drawn-out conflict in the region.

It came as fighting also resumed in Gaza between Palestinian militants and Israel and with NATO's calls for Russia to "step back from the brink" of war in Ukraine still ringing in ears of volatile markets.

"Earlier this week, one Iraqi in the area cried to the world, 'There is no one coming to help'," said Obama, who has been reluctant to go back into Iraq having withdrawn in 2011. "Well, today America is coming to help."

Global share markets had already been heading for a second week of straight losses but the latest developments sparked a fresh sell-off. European stocks opened down almost 1 percent after Asian markets had seen similar falls overnight.

1:50 pm Interview: Amit Sheth, vice chairman, Aurionpro Solutions- a company that provides technology solutions to payment banks, says atleast 25-30 companies would be interested in providing the services to rural areas.

'' We are currently in talks with a couple of players and we are exploring who would be interested in this business. Most non-banking financing companies and telcos are showing interest in it,'' he says.

Sheth further adds he expects to see a growth of 40 percent annual growth over the next three years.

1:40 pm Oil import: India took about 46 percent more oil from Iran in January-July compared with a year ago as its refiners continued to lift higher volumes while world powers and Tehran work to resolve a decade-old dispute over the OPEC nation's nuclear programme.

Six major powers and Iran failed to meet a July 20 deadline to negotiate a final agreement under which Iran would curb its nuclear activities in exchange for an end to economic sanctions that have crippled its economy.

An interim deal that eases some sanctions while negotiations continue has been extended by four months. Senior US and Iranian officials held "constructive" nuclear talks in Geneva on Thursday, and the major powers and Iran will meet again in advance of this September's UN gathering.

1:30 pm Exclusive: In an attempt to pare its debt, Tata Steel is exploring options for its qualified institutional placement and has appointed two bankers for the same. The QIP routes have been fairly lucrative.

Tata Steel's debt it stands at around USD 7 billion. They have been gradually looking at refinancing debt and over the next one-two years, that has been its main focus. The company also raised USD 1.5 billion bond issue in July.

The QIP is likely to be up to Rs 4000 crore. It could even come near the Rs 5000 crore mark, but it will reduce a very marginal portion of their debt.

Post the QIP issue, the company will look at a second bond issue and that could be as large as the first one- it could be around USD 1 billion. They are also simultaneously exploring an FCCB issue but that FCCB issue is in very initial stage so we don't have the details of that yet.

1:20 pm RBI new norms: For the convenience of people to pay school fees and municipal taxes and utility bills through an integrated platform, the Reserve Bank today proposed setting up an "anytime anywhere" bill payment system.

Bill payment is a major component of the retail payment transactions as over Rs 3,080 crore bills amounting to more than Rs 6,00,000 crore are generated each year in the top 20 cities in the country. Though various forms of payments are accepted, cash and cheque payments continue to be predominant, particularly at the Billers' Own Collection Point.

Global sentiments weigh on Indian market. The Sensex is down 290.66 points or 1.14 percent at 25298.35 and the Nifty is down 89.15 points or 1.17 percent at 7560.10. About 633 shares have advanced, 2000 shares declined, and 84 shares are unchanged.

Dr Reddy's, Bharti, TCS and ITC are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Sesa Sterlite, Hindalco, M&M, BHEL and Tata Power.

Asian markets are trading mostly lower after the US authorizes targeted air strikes on Iraq. However, Chinese markets bucked the trend after its economy saw exports surge14.5 percent, way above expectations for a 7.5 percent rise.

India's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) surprised street with the first quarter (April-June) net profit rising 3.3 percent year-on-year to Rs 3,349 crore on higher net interest income though it was impacted by higher provisions, tax cost and lower other income. Net profit in the year-ago period was Rs 3,241.08 crore.

Analysts had expected the bank to report net profit at Rs 2,824 crore and net interest income of Rs 13036 crore for the quarter.Net interest income, the difference between interest earned and interest expended, grew by 15 percent to Rs 13,253 crore in the first quarter of current financial year 2014-15 from Rs 11,512 crore in the year-ago period.

01:00pm SBI in News
India's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) surprised street with the first quarter (April-June) net profit rising 3.3 percent year-on-year to Rs 3,349 crore on higher net interest income though it was impacted by higher provisions, tax cost and lower other income. Net profit in the year-ago period was Rs 3,241.08 crore.

Analysts had expected the bank to report net profit at Rs 2,824 crore and net interest income of Rs 13036 crore for the quarter.

Net interest income, the difference between interest earned and interest expended, grew by 15 percent to Rs 13,253 crore in the first quarter of current financial year 2014-15 from Rs 11,512 crore in the year-ago period.

12:50pm Bombay Dyeing on sellers' radar
Investors continued to sell shares of Bombay Dyeing and Manufacturing Company on Friday, down more than 8 percent intraday after the disappointing start to the current financial year by reporting huge loss in Q1FY15.

Net loss during the quarter doubled at Rs 53.6 crore compared to loss of Rs 27.6 crore in the year-ago period impacted by textile and real estate business but net sales increased by 5 percent year-on-year to Rs 542.1 crore from Rs 516.4 crore supported by higher revenue in textile and polyester businesses.

12:40pm Interview
Jubilant Foodworks CEO Ajay Kaul says he is not seeing much of an improvement in consumer sentiment, and that a turnaround in his company's operating performance is at least 2-3 quarters away.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, he says the focus is right now on reviving Dominos Pizza's growth opportunities and that his company is not looking at acquiring domestic players, who in any case are too small.

Kaul says it will be tough to get back to 17 percent operating margin.

The company reported a decline in same store growth (SSG) for the third successive quarter in June. Kaul says SSG has to grow at least 7-8 percent for the company to be able to absorb the fixed costs. Kaul is hopeful that SSG will grow to 10-15 percent over the next couple of years.

12:30pm European markets open
European shares opened lower amid tensions in Ukraine and Iraq. France's CAC, Germany's DAX and Britain's FTSE fell 0.5 percent each.

12:20pm SBI Q1 earnings forecast
India's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI), which will announce first quarter (April-June) earnings today, is likely to report a fall in profitability for the sixth consecutive quarter. After the disappointment on the asset quality front by majority of PSU banks in June quarter, the street will closely watch SBI's asset quality too as it is the leading lender.
 
Analysts believe the asset quality of the bank may be contained (similar improvement like Q4FY14) due to selling of loans to asset reconstruction companies, upgrades and recoveries during the quarter.

According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, analysts expect profit after tax to fall 13 percent year-on-year to Rs 2,824 crore but net interest income is likely to increase 13.2 percent to Rs 13,036 crore in the quarter gone by.

12:10pm SIAM on auto sales
India's car sales are expected to grow between 5 and 10 percent this fiscal year, Vishnu Mathur, director general of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), told reporters today.

Local car sales in July rose an annual 5 percent, data released by SIAM showed.

Mathur said while the commercial vehicle sector was "still a concern", he expected growth in the sector to return after five-six months.

Commercial vehicle sales in July fell 13.64 percent to 47,765 units, reports Reuters.

12:00pm The continued sell-off in banks, capital goods, oil & gas, auto and metals pulled the market down but the buying in defensives like technology, pharma and FMCG capped the downside.

The Sensex declined 307.71 points or 1.20 percent to 25281.30, and the Nifty plummeted 92.80 points or 1.21 percent to 7556.45. Declining shares outnumbered advancing ones by a ratio of 1916 to 621 on the BSE.

Shares of Sesa Sterlite, Hindalco Industries and Tata Steel dropped 2-3 percent. Top private sector lenders ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank declined 1-2.6 percent while top lender State Bank of India slipped 0.6 percent ahead of Q1 earnings.

Capital goods major Larsen & Toubro, petrochemical major Reliance Industries, commercial vehicle major Tata Motors and state-run ONGC tumbled 1-2 percent.

However, TCS, HCL Technologies and Dr Reddy's Labs gained more than a percent. ITC and Bharti Airtel gained marginally.

Asian markets are trading mostly lower after the US authorised targeted airstrikes on Iraq. However, Chinese markets bucked the trend after its economy saw exports surge 14.5 percent, way above expectations for a 7.5 percent rise.

12:00 pm Auto sales: India's car sales are expected to grow between 5 and 10 percent this fiscal year, Vishnu Mathur, director general of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said.

Local car sales in July rose an annual 5 percent, data released by SIAM showed. Mathur said while the commercial vehicle sector was "still a concern", he expected growth in the sector to return after five-six months.

Commercial vehicle sales in July fell 13.64 percent to 47,765 units.

11:50 am Sun Pharma-Ranbaxy deal: Putting the multi-billion dollar Sun Pharma-Ranbaxy deal under close scrutiny, fair trade watchdog CCI has sought more information from them to ascertain whether the deal would skew fair competition in pharma sector.

Competition Commission of India (CCI) would take a final view on the deal after receiving details from them and could seek more information if it is not satisfied with the responses.

"We have sought more information from the two companies. We will take a final view after getting the required information," a senior CCI official told PTI.

11:40 am Management speaks: Anant Gawande, CFO & Wholetime Director at Talwalkars said the company is focused on increasing its revenue growth per gym and opening another 20 gyms for FY15. The focus would be to strengthen contribution from value-added services. T

alwalkars Better value Fitness reported a 17 percent rise in its consolidated Q1FY15 (April-June) net profit at Rs 4 crore against Rs 3.4 crore, Y-o-Y. May has been a good month for the Talwalkars aided by the Transform' Programme, which translated into the first quarter's performance, said Gawande.

11:30 am Buzzing: Shares of Bhushan Steel are locked at lower circuit for the third consecutive session, down 10 percent following 20 percent each decline in previous two sessions after CBI named company's vice chairman and MD Neeraj Singal in Syndicate Bank bribery case.

CBI on Thursday arrested Neeraj Singal, in connection with Rs 50 lakh bribery scandal involving CMD of Syndicate Bank SK Jain.

Singal, who was allegedly evading arrest, has been nabbed from here, the agency sources said. He has allegedly gone missing from his residence after the agency had carried out searches and did not appear on Saturday before the officials of the agency for examination.

However, in a filing to the exchange, the company said, "Singal, on August 07, surrendered voluntarily before the CBI in New Delhi to participate and co-operate in the ongoing investigation. The CBI pursuant to the surrender has taken Singal in custody."

11:20 am Market outlook: A camp of market experts foresee a near-term correction in the Indian equity market, which has been in a bull run since elections. Saurabh Mukherjea CEO, Institutional Equities Ambit Capital believes it has become fashionable to become cautious on market. However, he agrees that the wild optimism about India is abating and one is likely to see a lull in the equity market on the back of sluggish policy-making.

On macros, he is of the view that Indian economy is turning around and India Inc's Q1 earnings trends are indicative that. But he doesn't expect the new government to take rapid policy decisions especially for power and banking sector. Ambit Capital remains overweight on construction cyclicals especially the EPC space. From the pharma space, IPCA Laboratories is a good long-term buy post the recent 15 percent correction seen in stock price. On specific stocks, he is positive on TTK Prestige , Marico , Vardhman Textile , VA Tech Wabag , HCL Tech and Bajaj Auto . From the PSU pack, he is betting on ONGC , Coal India and Bank of Baroda .

Selling pressure continues in the market with the Sensex down 231.44 points at 25357.57. The Nifty slips 71.60 points at 7577.65. About 605 shares have advanced, 1670 shares declined, and 72 shares are unchanged.

Bharti Airtel, TCS, Dr Reddy's, ITC and Sun Pharma are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are M&M, Hindalco, BHEL, Tata Motors and Tata Power.

Gold climbed to 2-week highs after US President Barack Obama authorised air strikes in Iraq and the metal looked set to snap a three-week losing streak as global geopolitical tensions spurred safe-haven demand.

Bullion also got a boost from a drop in Asian share prices on growing fears that conflict in Ukraine and the Middle East could sap global growth.Obama said he had authorised limited US air strikes to blunt an onslaught by Islamic militants in northern Iraq and begun military air-drops of humanitarian supplies to besieged religious minorities to prevent a "potential act of genocide".

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield hit a 14-month low and the dollar slipped against the safe-haven yen, showing increasing risk-aversion in financial markets.

11:00am Interview
Talwalkars' CFO and wholetime director Anant Gawande said for FY15 the company is focused on increasing its revenue growth per gym and opening another 20 gyms. The focus would be to strengthen on contribution from value-added services.

Talwalkars Better value Fitness reported a 17 percent rise in its consolidated Q1FY15 (April-June) net profit at Rs 4 crore against Rs 3.4 crore, Y-o-Y.

The good performance reported in the first quarter was on back of a big launch of the company's 'Transform' programme and because May was a strong month for the company, said Gawande.

10:50am GSFC Q1 expectations
Analysts expect net profit of the company to jump 17 times to Rs 95 crore during April-June quarter from Rs 5.5 crore in the year-ago period aided by strong operational performance, according to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates.

Net sales are seen going up by 24 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,265 crore in the quarter gone by. Operating profit (EBITDA) may shot up 241 percent on yearly basis to Rs 140 crore and margin may expand 700 basis points to 11 percent in the quarter ended June 2014.

10:40am Gujarat State Petronet under pressure
Gujarat State Petronet has reported a 32.7 percent decline in first quarter (April-June) net profit at Rs 85 crore as against Rs 126.3 crore in the year-ago period while total income increased 11.8 percent to Rs 231 crore from Rs 206.7 crore year-on-year.

10:30am Obama authorises airstrikes in Iraq
US President Barack Obama announced on Thursday night that he had authorised the US military to launch targeted airstrikes if needed to protect Americans from Islamic militants in northern Iraq, threatening to revive US military involvement in the country's long sectarian war.

He also said the US military had carried out airdrops of humanitarian aid to Iraqi religious minorities under siege by the extremists.

"Today America is coming to help," he said in a late-night statement from the White House.

The announcements reflected the deepest American engagement in Iraq since US troops withdrew in late 2011 after nearly a decade of war.

10:20am Infosys in News
New Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka is leaving no stone unturned in his bid to woo employees. According to media reports, the ex-SAP executive has promoted 5,000 employees in order to stop them from leaving the Bangalore-based software exporter.

Infosys has given promotions to employees falling between the L3 and L5 categories, according to media reports quoting unnamed sources. The job level 3 is for software programmers and the next levels are for higher designations.

10:10am Market Expert
A camp of market experts foresee a near-term correction in the Indian equity market, which has been in a bull run since elections. Saurabh Mukherjea CEO, Institutional Equities Ambit Capital believes it has become fashionable to become cautious on market. However, he agrees that the wild optimism about India is abating and one is likely to see a lull in the equity market on the back of sluggish policy-making.

On macros, he is of the view that Indian economy is turning around and India Inc's Q1 earnings trends are indicative that. But he doesn't expect the new government to take rapid policy decisions especially for power and banking sector.

10:00am Equity benchmarks fell more than 1 percent in morning trade weighed down by broadbased selling due to weak global cues. The Sensex lost 267.32 points to 25321.69 and the Nifty dropped 81.05 points to 7568.20.

The broader markets lost ground too, with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices falling 1.4 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. About 473 shares have advanced, 1422 shares declined, and 48 shares are unchanged.

State Bank of India, and Mahindra and Mahindra slipped 0.6 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively ahead of first quarter earnings today. The street expect profit and net interest income of the top lender to fall by 13 percent but asset quality may be improved while M&M is expected to report big improvement in operating profit margin during the quarter.

Shares of ICICI Bank, L&T, Tata Motors, HDFC Bank, HDFC, ONGC, Axis Bank, Tata Steel, Sesa Sterlite and NTPC tumbled 1.5-2 percent whereas TCS, Dr Reddy's Labs and Bharti Airtel bucked the trend, up over 0.4 percent.

The Indian rupee depreciated further, down 39 paise to 61.61 a dollar.

9:55 am Poll: India's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI), which will announce first quarter (April-June) earnings on Friday, is likely to report a fall in profitability for the sixth consecutive quarter. After the disappointment on the asset quality front by majority of PSU banks in June quarter, the street will closely watch SBI's asset quality too as it is the leading lender. Analysts believe the asset quality of the bank may be contained (similar improvement like Q4FY14) due to selling of loans to asset reconstruction companies, upgrades and recoveries during the quarter.

In Q4FY14, the bank managed to improve its asset quality with the gross non-performing assets (NPA) falling (for the first time after rising consecutively in previous three quarters) to 4.95 percent from 5.73 percent in previous quarter and net NPA declining to 2.57 percent from 3.24 percent during the same period due to strong recoveries and upgrades.

9:45 am Interview: N Srinivasan, vice chairman and managing director, India Cements, said, "Despite a nominal recovery in selling prices from the month of June 2014, the severe cost push have resulted in a marginal loss for the quarter. The costs have gone up, which had an impact in the results, though the company has seen a sequential improvement compared to the previous quarter ended March 31, 2014."

The company also said there was an increase of Rs 200 per tonne of cement in the variable cost and the cost impact was Rs 50 crores. "Compared to the first quarter of last year, there is an increase of almost Rs 200 in variable costy. We sold 26 lakh tonnes and the total cost impact was Rs 50 crore", added Srinivasan

9:35 am Big slide: Shares of Ipca Labs tanked over 10 percent intraday as US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has raised concerns over it quality. The drug regulator's
Form 483 to IPCA Labs' Ratlam active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) facility lists six serious deviations from current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) on quality & training.

The form details two severe data integrity issues in plant observed in the  inspection done between July 14 and July 18 of the Ratlam API facility. Observations also point senior staff involvement in data falsification. Lab analyst sais they were "forced" to falsify the record by a direct supervisor.

9:25 am Market opinion: Laurence Balanco, CLSA says that weakness across global equity markets over the past four sessions raises the question if the sell-off is anything more than seasonal weakness or a deeper decline.  He believes that a break below the 1,878-1,891 support level, which includes the 200-day MA, for the S&P500 would signal a deeper decline for global markets. ''Our preference all year has been for a deeper correction to set-up a four-year Presidential cycle low. The big sell-off in in the high yield corporate bonds over the past month is another warning sign that the S&P500 is heading into a deeper summer sell-off,'' he added.

The market is under heavy selling pressure as Asia has already shown signs of weakness taking cues from the growing tensions in Ukraine. Investors overlooked the signs of recovery in US economy and are reacting to the geopolitical tension

The Sensex is down 243.98 points at 25345.03 and the Nifty slipped 76.30 points at 7572.95. BHEL, Sun Pharma, and Hindalco are down 2 percent each. ONGC and Axis Bank are other laggards in the Sensex.About 242 shares have advanced, 823 shares declined and 25 shares are unchanged.

The Indian rupee declined in the early trade. It has opened lower by 38 paise at 61.60 per dollar versus 61.22 Thursday.

The euro was on the backfoot after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi struck a cautious note on the euro zone economy, while lower debt yields pressured the dollar against the yen.  Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said, "Expect rupee to trade range-bound to slightly weak and will look forward to the local equities for further cues. Range for the day seen at 60.80-61.80/dollar.''

In the US, stocks declined, pushing the Dow further into the red for the year amid unease over the crisis in Ukraine, even as US weekly jobless claims declining by 14,000 to 289,000.On the global macro front, European Central Bank (ECB) left rates unchanged. Meanwhile, the Bank of England held interest rates at a record low of 0.5 percent for another month.

In commodities, crude prices rose, rebounding from the lowest prices in months as the security situation in northern Iraq deteriorated, raising concerns of supply disruptions.From precious metals space, gold prices rose above 1300 dollars an ounce on safe-haven buying amid rising tensions in Iraq and Ukraine.