After a slightly positive start and a subsequent retreat, the Indian stock market swung between gains and losses right through the session, amid listless trades on Friday.
Weakness in Asian markets and worries about inflation and slowing growth contributed to the sluggish trend in the market. With no big triggers from the global front, investors were mostly seen tracking corporate results for direction.
Realty stocks mostly ended notably lower. Stocks from capital goods, metal, automobile, healthcare and FMCG sectors too closed on a negative note. Oil and power stocks found some support, but failed to hold at higher levels. Select bank and consumer durables stocks moved up, while information technology stocks traded firm right through the day, with a weaker rupee aiding their surge.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which declined to 20,622.55, ended the session at 20,683.52, recording a loss of 41.91 points or 0.2%. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 6144.90, down 19.45 points or 0.32% from its previous close.
Hindalco, down 4.7%, was the most prominent loser in the Sensex. Tata Steel ended lower by a little over 3%. Mahindra & Mahindra, Hero Motocorp, Hindustan Unilever, GAIL India and BHEL declined by 2% - 2.5%.
Larsen & Toubro, Bharti Airtel, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Tata Power, Jindal Steel & Power, Cipla, Tata Motors and ITC also ended notably lower.
DLF shed 4.8%. NMDC ended 3.6% down on weak results. Cairn India lost around 3.5%. IDFC, BPCL, Lupin, Jaiprakash Associates, Asian Paints, Axis Bank, ACC and Ranbaxy Laboratories lost 1% - 2.2%.
IT stocks Tata Consultancy Services (3%), Wipro (2.1%), Infosys (0.7%) and HCL Technologies (2.5%) ended on a firm note.
Sesa Sterlite gained 1.9%. NTPC, Power Grid Corporation, Grasim Industries, HDFC Bank and Dr Reddy's Laboratories closed with modest gains and Reliance Industries edged up marginally.
Idea Cellular, Deepak Fertilizers, Atul, Essar Shipping and TVS Motor moved higher on impressive results, while Idea Cellular, Tata Sponge, Adani Power and Orient Cement closed weak on disappointing quarterly numbers.
The market breadth was weak.