Indian stock markets retreated into the red on Thursday as a surprisingly weak growth projection for the current fiscal weighed on the Street. The economy is set to have grown 5 per cent in 2012-13 according to advance estimates of the Central Statistics Office. The CSO's estimate is much lower than RBI's forecast of 5.5 per cent and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram's projection of 5.9 per cent.
"It might have small impact but would not impact much as this fiscal year is almost over. People are focusing on next fiscal year," Phani Sekhar, fund manager at Angel Broking said.
The Sensex traded 65 points or 0.33 per cent lower at 19,575 while the broader Nifty declined 22 points to 5,937 as of 01.30 p.m. The rupee slipped to 53.25 against the dollar.
The Nifty has held on to the crucial support at 5,920. Analysts said a close below 5,920 may lead to larger downsides.
Consumer Durables shares saw the biggest cut, falling nearly 2.5 per cent, while metal, power, realty, capital goods and PSU shares declined 1-2 per cent.
On the Nifty, 37 of the 50 stocks were down, led by Reliance Infra, which traded 4 per cent lower. Miner Sesa Goa and PSU lender Bank of Baroda were the other big Nifty losers.
NTPC shares fell 2.4 per cent as the floor price of its share sale, scheduled later in the day, was set at a discount to its Wednesday's close.
Drug maker Cipla fall 2.6 per cent, a day after the company's October-December net profit missed estimates. Morgan Stanley and CLSA also downgrade their ratings on Cipla, citing lower-than-expected margins and earnings outlook.
State-run Power Grid was the top Nifty gainer, up 2.1 per cent, followed by mortgage lender HDFC and Tata Motors.