Indian equity benchmarks fell for the sixth day in a row on Friday, as losses in banking, financial, and metal sectors offset advances in automobile, consumer goods, and pharmaceutical firms.
Despite continuing increasing inflation and central banks' hawkish policy stance, investors remained concerned. The 30-share BSE Sensex down 137 points, or 0.26 percent, to 52,794 points, while the wider NSE Nifty fell 26 points, or 0.16 percent, to 15,782. During today's session, the Sensex moved in a 1,131-point range. Mid- and small-cap stocks underperformed the Nifty. The midcap 100 index declined 1.03 percent, while the small-cap index fell 0.94 percent.
The markets were gripped in fag-end selling as investors booked profits in banks and metal stocks. Despite the optimistic global atmosphere, the markets closed the day lower for the sixth day in a row. SBI was the index's largest laggard, falling nearly 5% after the lender's Q4 earnings failed Street expectations.
Other draggers were NTPC, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Maruti Suzuki, Airtel, HDFC Finance HDFC Bank, and Bajaj finance, Bajaj Finserve. Meanwhile, the BSE SmallCap index increased by over 1.3 percent, while the BSE MidCap index increased by 0.6 percent.
The Nifty Metal index dropped 2%, while the Nifty Bank index dropped 1%. (down over 1 per cent). On the plus side, Tata Motors led the Nifty Auto index up by 2.5 percent. The Tata Group's stock ended the day nearly 8% higher as investors praised the company's long-term growth prospects.