Indian equities ended in the red for the second consecutive session on Friday tracking decline in global markets and on increased uncertainty over the US fiscal cliff.
Sensex dropped 1.09 per cent or 211.92 points to end the day at 19,242 and Nifty settled 1.16 per cent or 68.70 points lower at 5,847.70, tracking a similar fall in major Asian indices. Losses were even higher in the broader markets, with BSE midcap and BSE smallcap indices falling 1.5 per cent, each.
Moreover, all major sectoral indices ended in the red on Friday, with BSE realty index losing most in Friday’s session (-3.5 per cent).
Individually, metal stocks were the biggest loser on Friday. Jindal Steel and Sterlite Industries declined the most, with both scrips falling over 3 per cent. Bharti Airtel, too, declined over 3 per cent following reports that Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) may file charges against the company as part of a broader case involving alleged irregularities in airwave allocations.
Market experts believe traders booked profits ahead of the weekend following series of negative news hitting the market. Investors adopted a cautious stance, as a result of year-end profit-booking activities amid lack of consensus over the US fiscal cliff talks, they said. Analysts also attributed the fall in markets to the forthcoming derivatives (F&O) expiry, which is less than a week away. According to exchange data, nearly one-third of positions for December expiry were rolled over to forward month contracts.
On a weekly basis, markets ended weak, with frontline and broader indices losing nearly 0.5 per cent on a week-on-week basis. BSE Capital Goods index was the biggest loser, falling 1.95 per cent, followed by consumer durables index, which declined 1.8 per cent. JP Associates declined the most this week, with the scrip falling 4.73 per cent. L&T too declined 3 per cent from last week. Banks also remained under selling pressure following the outcome of mid-quarter policy review of the RBI.