Mumbai, March 9 (IANS) A sudden sell-off during the last hour of trade trimmed Friday’s entire gains and led the key Indian equity indices to close trade on a flat note with marginal losses.
Market observers said global trade war fears over a likely hike in US import tariff on steel and aluminium continued to dampen the domestic metals sector, which witnessed heavy selling pressure.
On a closing basis, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 15.80 points or 0.15 per cent to 10,226.85 points.
The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed at 33,307.14 points — down 44.43 points or 0.13 per cent from its previous session’s close.
The BSE market breadth turned bearish as 1,638 stocks declined as against 1,082 advances.
“Markets ended marginally lower on Friday after a positive morning session. Selling in the last one hour of trade pulled the indices lower,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
“Major Asian markets closed on a positive note, whereas European indices like DAX, CAC 40 and FTSE 100 traded in the red,” Jasani added.
In terms of the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index edged lower by 0.35 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.30 per cent.
Provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors turned net buyers and purchased scrips worth Rs 550.36 crore. However, domestic institutional investors sold stocks worth Rs 65 crore.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: “Global trade fears continued to pull the domestic metal index lower while weakening trend in rupee supported IT companies.”
On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by two paise to close at 65.17 against the US dollar from its previous close at 65.15.
Sectorwise, the S&P BSE metals index declined by 277.59 points, banking index by 212.54 points and healthcare index by 82.15 points.
On the other hand, the S&P BSE IT index rose by 67.76 points, Teck (technology, media and entertainment) index by 36.60 points and capital goods index by 29.50 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Friday were: HDFC, up 1.17 per cent at Rs 1,818.45; Tata Consultancy Services, up 1.10 per cent at Rs 3,034.50; Infosys, up 0.58 per cent at Rs 1,163.40; Hindustan Unilever, up 0.56 per cent at Rs 1,300.60; and Larsen and Toubro, up 0.54 per cent at Rs 1,290.15.
The Sensex losers were: Tata Steel, down 4.66 per cent at Rs 605.60; Adani Ports, down 2.91 per cent at Rs 377.30; Axis Bank, down 2.85 per cent at Rs 505.35; Sun Pharma, down 1.67 per cent at Rs 506.80; and ICICI Bank, down 1.43 per cent at Rs 292.70.