Mumbai, April 21 (IANS) Foreign funds’ outflow, coupled with a weak rupee and heavy selling pressure in healthcare, FMCG and automobile stocks, subdued the Indian equity markets on Friday.
Besides, caution prevailed over the ongoing fourth quarter results season.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 17 points or 0.19 per cent, to 9,119.40 points.
The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 29,575.66 points, closed at 29,365.30 points — down 57.09 points or 0.19 per cent from the previous close at 29,422.39 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 29,584.34 points and a low of 29,259.42 points during the intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was slightly tilted in favour of the bearish — with 1,449 declines and 1,426 advances.
“Markets ended with modest losses on Friday after a positive opening as investors remained cautious due to mixed earnings and ahead of first round of French Presidential election on Sunday,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
“After sliding to intra-day low in afternoon trade, the key benchmark indices trimmed losses in mid-afternoon trade. Broad market indices like the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices ended with bigger gains thereby outperforming the Sensex.”
In terms of the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index was up by 0.02 per cent, while the small-cap index closed higher by 0.25 per cent.
Vijay Singhania, founder-Director, Trade Smart Online, explained that the markets started the day’s trade on a high note following a rally in Asian and European markets.
“But they reversed most of the early gains as traders started winding up long open positions ahead of the derivative expiry next Thursday and crucial French Elections on Sunday,” Singhania asserted.
“Sentiment was also boosted as regional markets gained, lifted by bets on strong US earnings and tax reform.”
According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, the benchmark indices failed to sustain gains and witnessed volatility throughout the session.
“Volatile USD/INR futures brought volatility in Indian equity market as well and restricted upside,” Desai said.
On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 4-5 paise to 64.61 per dollar from its previous close of 64.56-57 to a greenback.
In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold scrip worth Rs 978.34 crore, while the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased stocks worth Rs 1,132.39 crore.
“Almost all sector stocks faced resistance at higher levels and traded volatile throughout the session,” Desai added.
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE healthcare index dipped by 115.80 points, followed by the automobile index, which slipped by 91.25 points, and the FMCG index, which fell by 90.57 points.
In contrast, the realty index rose by 44.44 points, the capital goods index was up by 42.20 points, and the energy index edged higher by 26.41 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Friday were: HDFC Bank, up 2.38 per cent at Rs 1,496.75; Reliance Industries, up 2.22 per cent at Rs 1,399.75; NTPC, up 2.05 per cent at Rs 167.05; Asian Paints, up 0.43 per cent at Rs 1,062.90; and Larsen and Toubro (LT), up 0.39 per cent at Rs 1,687.65.
Major Sensex losers were: Sun Pharma, down 2.41 per cent at Rs 640.05; Cipla, down 1.84 per cent at Rs 563.40; ITC, down 1.81 per cent at Rs 274.35; Adani Ports, down 1.72 per cent at Rs 325.95; and Power Grid, down 1.44 per cent at Rs 205.60.