Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters SI Reporter in Mumbai
Markets edged lower on the last trading day of the week as investors took profit in most blue-chip stocks after nine consecutive days of record highs.
This cautious move came ahead of the key US jobs data later in the day.
Also, market participants were reluctant to hold on to their positions, ahead of general elections scheduled to start next week.
Losses in heavyweights like RIL, TCS, HDFC and L&T dragged the Nifty below the 6,700 levels to end the week down 42 points at 6,694. The Sensex gave off 150 points to close at 22,360.
Meanwhile, broader markets were resilient with the midcap index up 0.8% and smallcap index up 0.4%, both outperforming the BSE benchmark index, down nearly 0.7%.
In intra-day trades, India VIX spiked to its 4-month high. According to derivative analyst, Chandan Taparia, “Indiz VIX is expected to rise in near term towards 23.50-24.
A rising VIX indicates that currently the risk of taking fresh positions is higher as we are heading towards election which will boost volatility."
The rupee is trading at 60.22 versus its close of 60.1650/1750 on Thursday, tracking weakness in local shares. Dollar demand from importers also hurt.
Most other Asian currencies were trading weaker compared with the dollar. Caution also prevailed ahead of US jobs data due post market close.
Sectors & Stocks
Realty index up 3.4%, Metal and Consumer Durables up 0.2% each were the only sectoral indices to close in green.
From the realty space, HDIL, Ajmera Realty, Kolte Patil Developers, Unitech, Indiabulls Real Estate, D B Realty, Prestige Estates, Anant Raj, DLF, Oberoi Realty and Sobha Developers were up 1-16%.
Auto, IT, Teck indices down 1% each were the top sectoral losers for the day.
FMCG, Oil & Gas, Power and Capital Goods indices slipped 0.5-0.8%.
25 of the Sensex-30 stocks closed in red.
Cipla, Tata Steel, SBI, Hindalco and Coal India up 0.4-2% were the only gainers.
BHEL, NTPC, Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors and Gail India up 1.5-2% were the major losers.
Bajaj Auto, Wipro, TCS, Sun Pharma, Tata Power, L&T and HDFC down 1-1.4% were some of the other prominent losers.
Index heavyweights, Reliance Industries, Infosys, ICICI Bank and ITC were down 0.4-0.8%.
The market breadth was positive in an otherwise weak market on BSE. 1,649 stocks advanced while 1,135 stocks declined.
Shares of sugar manufacturer rallied by up to 13% after the India Ratings revised its FY15 outlook on the sector and the companies within the sector to “negative to stable” from negative.
Shree Renuka Sugars, Sakthi Sugars, Andhra Sugars, Balrampur Chini Mills, Bajaj Hindustan, EID Parry (India), Dhampur Sugar Mills and Upper Ganges Sugar were up 2-13%.
Natco Pharma rallied 5% to Rs 749 on the BSE after the company announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has rejected Teva's patent reissue application for Copaxone.
Kitex Garments surged 20% to Rs 130, extending its previous day’s rally on the BSE, after reporting nearly three-fold jump in net profit at Rs 21.08 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2014 (Q4), on back of higher operational income.
The company had profit of Rs 7.76 crore in the same quarter year ago.
Venus Remedies was locked at upper circuit at Rs 317 on BSE after the drug maker said it has received marketing authorisation for meropenem, an antibiotic drug, from Venezuela and plans to launch the product in the Latin American country in the next few months.
Asian markets put discretion before valour on Friday as investors counted down the final hours to the U.S. jobs report, while the euro nursed a grudge after the European Central Bank opened the door to more aggressive easing, albeit not just yet.
With virtually no major data of note due in Asia, moves were minor across the region. Australia's share market inched up 0.2%, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan barely budged.
Japan's Nikkei eased a fraction, with a softer yen providing some support, while Shanghai rose 0.2%.
In Europe, all the major indexes gained between 0.1-0.4%.