Weighed down by losses in rate sensitive financial and auto stocks, the Indian equity benchmarks ended tad lower on Friday as traders remained vulnerable to bouts of profit taking ahead of US Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech later in the day who may give hints of possible rate hike later this month. However, firmness in broader markets limited day’s loss, with MidCap and SmallCap Indices gaining between 0.2-0.35 per cent.
The 30-share barometer index of Bombay Stock Exchange, Sensex closed at 28832.45, down by 7.34 points or by 0.03 per cent, and the NSE Nifty ended at 8897.55, down by 2.2 points or by 0.02 per cent.
On the economy front, India’s Services PMI rebounded in February, for the first time since October, to 50.3 in February 2017, up from 48.7 registered in last month, as businesses recovered from the demonetisation-led disruptions seen in the previous three months.
On the Corporate front, Reliance Industries continued its dream run on Friday and hit fresh 52-week high after Mukesh Ambani-led promoter group entities announced to restructure their shareholding in the company through an inter-se transfer of shares.
During the day’s trade, the BSE Sensex touched intraday high of 28860.13 and intraday low of 28716.21, while the NSE Nifty touched intraday high of 8907.1 and intraday low of 8860.1.
The top losers of the BSE Sensex pack were Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd. (Rs. 1371.35,-1.89%), Asian Paints Ltd. (Rs. 1014.50,-1.34%), ITC Ltd. (Rs. 261.95,-0.98%), ICICI Bank Ltd. (Rs. 275.85,-0.86%), State Bank of India (Rs. 265.15,-0.69%), among others.
On the flip side, GAIL (India) Ltd. (Rs. 520.35,+3.47%), Reliance Industries Ltd. (Rs. 1258.45,+2.04%), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Rs. 685.80,+1.44%), Hero MotoCorp Ltd. (Rs. 3270.55,+1.33%), Axis Bank Ltd. (Rs. 512.80,+1.28%), were among top gainers on BSE.
On the sectoral front, FMCG and bankex stock emerged as top losers, falling as much as 0.39 per cent and 0.26 per cent respectively.
The market breadth, indicating the overall strength of the market, was weak. On BSE out of total shares traded 3182, shares advanced were 1472 while 1524 shares declined and 186 were unchanged.