After a day of volatile trading, key Indian equity indices on Friday closed on a flat note — marginally in the green — buoyed by a strong rupee and good buying activities in capital goods stocks.
According to market observers, sentiments continued to remain subdued on the back of prevailing geo-political tensions, coupled with continous outflow of foreign funds and heavy selling pressure in index heavyweights like Dr. Reddy’s Lab, Mahindra and Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, Infosys and Sun Pharma, among others.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was up 4.90 points, or 0.05 per cent, to close at 9,934.80 points.
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed at 31,687.52 points — up 24.78 points, or 0.08 per cent.
However, the BSE market breadth was bearish — with 1,539 declines and 1,098 advances.
“Markets ended with marginal gains on Friday as the Nifty continued to consolidate in a range. The main indices drifted lower through the day. A bounce back from the lows of the day in the afternoon helped the indices register marginal gains,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
“Major Asian markets ended on a mixed note, while European indices like FTSE 100, DAX and CAC 40 traded lower. Broader market indices fell, thereby underperforming the main indices,” he added.
In terms of broader market indices, the S&P BSE mid-cap index fell by 0.44 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.08 per cent.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: “The market continued to consolidate amid lack of fresh triggers for a decisive up move. The global uncertainties are not completely out of the wood but the degree of threat is narrowing which will keep the long term outlook intact.”
On the currency front, the Indian rupee strengthened by 26 paise to 63.79 against the US dollar from its previous close at 64.05.
“Markets edged higher on Friday as metal shares continued to rally on the back of higher commodity prices, but indices were set to snap a three-week winning streak amid continued caution about global risk factors such as North Korea,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.
“The pharma and realty stocks were the top losers, while the S&P BSE capital goods index gained most and was up 1.60 per cent,” Desai added.
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE capital goods index rose by 325.72 points, FMCG index by 46.56 points and industrials index by 25.01 points.
On the other hand, the S&P BSE healthcare index fell by 122.38 points, automobile index by 121.88 points, and oil and gas index by 86.56 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Friday were: Larsen and Toubro, up 4.07 per cent at Rs 1,172.30; Bharti Airtel, up 1.45 per cent at Rs 403.20; Kotak Bank, up 1.22 per cent at Rs 1,007.60; HDFC Bank, up 0.98 per cent at Rs 1,788; and ITC, up 0.78 per cent at Rs 272.45.
Major Sensex losers were: M&M, down 3.29 per cent at Rs 1,294.70; Dr. Reddy’s Lab, down 2.93 per cent at Rs 2,158.80; Sun Pharma, down 1.87 per cent at Rs 471.05; Bajaj Auto, down 1.76 per cent at Rs 2,913.85; and Infosys, down 1.25 per cent at Rs 884.40.