The Indian stock market opened on a weak note, and despite seeing some buying at select counters during the session, ended lower on Friday, extending its losing streak to a third successive day.
Political uncertainty and worries about near term growth rendered the mood bearish. Though Wall Street ended on a firm note overnight, Asian markets, with the exception of Japan, were mostly subdued today. A weak trend in European markets too contributed to the decline on the Indian bourses. The Japanese market vaulted as the yen tumbled against the greenback following additional monetary easing by the Bank of Japan.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which declined to 18,389.29, ended the day with a loss of 59.47 points or 0.32% at 18,450.23, around 75 points off the day's high. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5553.25, nearly 20 points off the day's low of 5534.70, recording a loss of 21.50 points or 0.39%.
FMCG stocks traded weak. Consumer durables, capital goods and power stocks too mostly ended lower. Bank stocks found some support, but failed to hold at higher levels. Realty, information technology, healthcare, metal and PSU stocks ended on a mixed note. Automobile stocks saw some buying. Oil stocks traded firm.
HDFC ended 2.8% down. ITC too lost around 2.8%. NTPC declined 2.4%, while Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank and Mahindra & Mahindra lost 1% - 1.2%.
Tata Motors, Larsen & Toubro, Infosys, Coal India, BHEL, State Bank of India and Tata Consultancy Services also ended weak.
NMDC lost nearly 5%. Ambuja Cements, Lupin, IDFC, IndusInd Bank, ACC, Axis Bank, Asian Paints, DLF and Cairn India also ended lower.
Maruti Suzuki ended more than 7% up as investors thronged the counter following the yen's sharp slide against major currencies. ONGC, HCL Technologies, Sesa Goa, Hindalco, Bajaj Auto, Ultratech Cement and Reliance Industries gained 1.5% - 2.3%.
Hero Motocorp, GAIL India, BPCL, Tata Steel, HDFC Bank, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Jaiprakash Associates, Reliance Infrastructure, Jindal Steel & Power and Cipla also closed on a firm note.
The market breadth was marginally positive. Out of 2866 stocks traded on BSE, 1422 stocks moved up. 1306 stocks declined and 138 stocks ended flat.