Concerns about the global economy following recent weak data from China, uncertainty about the U.S. Federal Reserve's take on stimulus plan and a lack of prominent triggers from the domestic front resulted in a dismal close for stocks on the Indian bourses on Friday.
The RBI governor's statement expressing concerns about high inflation, some weak quarterly results and the US FDA's action banning Ranbaxy Laboratories from manufacturing and distributing active pharmaceutical ingredients from its facility in Toansa in India, to the U.S. market, were among the other factors that weighed down the market. Also, investors appeared keen on trimming down positions ahead of next week's RBI monetary policy review.
Snapping a four-session winning streak, the key indices ended notably lower. While the BSE benchmark Sensex ended the session with a loss of 240.10 points or 1.12% at 21,133.56, just a few points off the day's low of 21,123.99, the Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 6266.75, losing 78.90 points or 1.24%.
In the forex market, the rupee opened at 62.12 against the U.S. dollar, down 20 paise from its previous close. It lost further ground subsequently and was hovering around 62.45 a dollar.
Bank, capital goods, realty, metal, automobile, healthcare, power and FMCG stocks mostly ended notably lower. Information technology stocks found some support early on, but ended off their highs as the mood turned quite bearish past noon. Select oil stocks surged higher. Scores of stocks from midcap and smallcap segments ended with sharp losses.
BHEL, Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Sesa Sterlite, Larsen & Toubro and State Bank of India lost 2% - 3.5%. ICICI Bank ended nearly 2% down.
Tata Power, ITC, Hero Motocorp, HDFC, Maruti Suzuki, Cipla, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Wipro, Infosys, ONGC, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra and Coal India also closed notably lower.
Ranbaxy Laboratories, down nearly 19%, was the biggest loser in the Nifty index. The stock plunged on heavy selling following the US FDA banning the company from manufacturing and distributing active pharmaceutical ingredients from its facility in Toansa in India, to the U.S. market.
Jaiprakash Associates, Punjab National Bank, Ambuja Cements, DLF, Bank of Baroda, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank, IDFC and ACC lost 2% - 5%.
Asian Paints, NMDC, NTPC, Grasim Industries, HCL Technologies, Hindustan Unilever, Reliance Industries and Power Grid Corporation bucked the trend and closed on the positive side.
L&T Finance Holdings, Triveni Turbine, Novartis and Bharat Electronics declined on disappointing quarterly results.
With several midcap and smallcap stocks too posting losses, the market breadth was very weak. Out of 2797 stocks traded on BSE, 1759 stocks declined. 890 stocks moved up and 148 stocks ended flat.