The Indian stock market ended lower on Friday, after a highly choppy ride, as investors appeared quite reluctant to indulge in any significant buying due to lingering concerns about near term economic outlook. The rupee's weakness against the U.S. dollar and none too encouraging global cues too contributed to the market's decline.
A downward revision in India's GDP growth forecast by the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council - the PMEAC cut India's GDP growth forecast to 5.3% for the fiscal year ending March 2014 - hurt sentiment and prompted investors to press sales at several counters.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which declined to 19,675.68 in late afternoon trade, after rising to 19,999.37 earlier in the day, ended the session with a loss of 49.12 points or 0.25% at 19,732.76. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5850.60, slightly below its previous close of 5850.70. The Nifty touched a high of 5884.30 and a low of 5822.90 during the day.
The data on industrial production in July, released by the government after trading hours on Thursday, beat expectations, but did not enthuse investors any significantly. According to the data, industrial production rose 2.6% in July 2013 as against a contraction of 1.8% in June 2013. While manufacturing sector registered a growth of 3% and electricity generation rose 5.2%, mining sector saw a contraction of 2.3%. Production of basic goods rose 1.7% in July 2013, and capital goods production was up 15.6%. Production of intermediate goods rose 2.4%, while consumer goods production saw a 0.9% decline in the month.
Meanwhile, inflation based on the consumer price index decelerated in August 2013. According to a report from the government, the rate of inflation based on the combined consumer price index for urban and rural India decelerated to 9.52% in August 2013 from 9.64% in July 2013. Food and beverages inflation came in at 11.06% in August 2013, the data showed.
Consumer durables, information technology and FMCG stocks ended lower. Realty, power and capital goods stocks moved up sharply. Several PSU stocks, including those in the banking space, saw some brisk buying during the session.
Oil, automobile and metal stocks ended on a mixed note. Healthcare stocks found some support, but failed to hold at higher levels. Several stocks from midcap and smallcap segments moved higher.
BHEL ended nearly 6% up, extending recent gains. DLF notched up a gain of 5.2%. Axis Bank, Punjab National Bank, Reliance Infrastructure, Jaiprakash Associates and Coal India gained 3% - 4.3%.
Larsen & Toubro, Kotak Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hero Motocorp, Tata Power, GAIL, ACC, Bank of Baroa, ONGC, Jindal Steel & Power, Bajaj Auto, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Power Grid Corporation and Asian Paints too closed on a firm note.
HCL Technologies, Ultra Tech Cement, ITC, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, Infosys, HDFC Bank, HDFC, Bharti Airtel, Hindustan Unilever and Reliance Industries ended with sharp to moderate losses.
The market breadth was positive. Out of 2556 stocks traded on BSE, 1355 stocks moved up. 1036 stocks declined and 165 stocks ended flat.