Mumbai: Weak global cues and heavy selling pressure in healthcare, banking and consumer durables stocks pulled the Indian equity markets lower on Friday.
Even a strong rupee and healthy macro-economic data failed to uplift investors’ sentiments and the key indices traded in the red during the mid-afternoon trade session.
Data released after market hours on Thursday showed that India’s services sector continued its recovery for the second successive month in March as the Nikkei India Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 51.5 in March.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 22.90 points or 0.25 per cent to 9,239.05 points.
The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 29,850.71 points, traded at 29,850.08 points (at 1.00 p.m.) — down 77.26 points or 0.26 per cent from the previous close at 29,927.34 points.
The Sensex has so far touched a high of 29,883.98 points and a low of 29,763.02 points during the intra-day trade.
In contrast, the BSE market breadth was bullish — with 1,471 advances and 1,192 declines.
According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, the Nifty opened on a negative note on account of a mixed global opening cues.
“Appreciation of the Indian rupee against the US Dollar continues, which supported the Indian equity market at lower levels,” Desai told IANS.
“Among sectors, oil-gas and media-entertainment sector stocks outperformed the selling pressure of markets on strong buying support, while banking, pharma, auto and aviation sector stocks traded on a sideways-to-bearish note due to profit booking.”
On Thursday, the benchmark indices closed marginally in the red after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept its interest rates unchanged in its first bi-monthly Monetary Policy Review of the 2017-18 fiscal.
The NSE Nifty slipped down by 3.20 points or 0.03 per cent to close at 9,261.95 points, while the BSE Sensex closed at 29,927.34 points — down 46.90 points or 0.16 per cent.