Equity benchmarks were caught in a late-session bear grip Friday as trading sentiment remained risk-averse amid global headwinds and uncertainty over the earnings front. Investors were also cautious ahead of the release of key macroeconomic data, traders said.
Building on its positive opening, the 30-share BSE Sensex crossed the 39,000-mark in afternoon trade, but suffered a sudden bout of selling to end at 38,736.23, down by 86.88 points or 0.22 per cent.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty dropped 30.40 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 11,552.50. In the post-Budget week, the Sensex lost 777.16 points or 1.96 per cent, while the Nifty dropped 258.65 points or 2.18 per cent.
Global equities were trading flat as investors digested a slew of economic data amid heightened geopolitical and trade tensions. Domestic market participants are also tracking developments surrounding India-US trade talks, traders added.
Top losers in the Sensex pack Friday included Bajaj Finance, ONGC, IndusInd Bank, PowerGrid, L&T, Axis Bank, NTPC, Bharti Airtel, HDFC, HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank, falling up to 2.08 per cent.
On the other hand, Vedanta, Sun Pharma, Tata Steel, Asian Paints, Hero MotoCorp and Yes Bank were among the gainers, rising up to 2.44 per cent.
Shares of Infosys ended 0.87 per cent higher ahead of the company’s quarterly results.
“Volatility continued given subdued expectation on Q1 FY20 results which is increasing risk of downgrade in future earnings. Investors remain focused on today’s CPI inflation data to get cues on interest rate trajectory. Currently market is expecting reduction in interest rate in the medium-term.
“Lack of stimulus to the economy and premium valuation is influencing investors to have a cautious approach in the market,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
Sectorally, BSE capital goods, telecom, oil and gas, industrials, energy, bankex and finance indices lost up to 1.22 per cent.
Metals, basic materials, realty and healthcare gained up to 0.91 per cent. The broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices outperformed the benchmarks, rising up to 0.41 per cent.
Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai Composite Index, Hang Seng, Nikkei and Kospi ended in the green. Equities in Europe were also trading higher in early deals.
Meanwhile, the Indian rupee depreciated 13 paise to 68.57 against the US dollar (intra-day). The global oil benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.89 per cent to USD 67.11 per barrel.