MUMBAI, Dec 24 (PTI): Equity indices nursed losses on Friday after a three-session rising streak as selling in banking, finance and power stocks offset continued outperformance by the IT pack.
Unabated selling by foreign investors and a muted trend overseas also weighed on bourses, traders said.
After a choppy session, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 190.97 points or 0.33 per cent lower at 57,124.31. Similarly, the NSE Nifty declined 68.85 points or 0.40 per cent to 17,003.75.
NTPC was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding 2.69 per cent, followed by PowerGrid, M&M, Axis Bank, Kotak Bank, UltraTech Cement and Dr Reddy’s.
On the other hand, HCL Tech, Tech Mahindra, Asian Paints, Wipro, Infosys and Reliance Industries were among the gainers, surging up to 3.08 per cent.
“Weighed by muted global markets and continued FII selling, domestic indices erased mid-day gains to slip into red, led by selling pressure in index heavyweights.
“The markets remain highly volatile amid rising Omicron cases, higher monetary policies and inflationary woes. While pharma, realty and energy stocks dragged the indices lower, IT stocks traded firm in the weak market,” said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services.
During the week, the Sensex advanced 112.57 points or 0.10 per cent, while the Nifty inched up 18.55 points or 0.10 per cent.
Ajit Mishra, VP – Research, Religare Broking, said markets are closely eyeing the covid situation and any positive news will help the index make a sustainable upmove, else volatility will continue.
“Interestingly, we’re seeing a mixed trend across sectors so traders should focus on IT, select FMCG, pharma for long trades while the banking pack may continue to trade subdued,” he added.
Sectorally, BSE power, utilities, realty, oil and gas, capital goods, bankex and finance indices finished up to 2.04 per cent lower on Friday, while IT and tech indices ended with gains.
Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices lost as much as 1.15 per cent.
Global equities were mixed in holiday-thinned trade, while investors monitored the Omicron situation.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong and Seoul ended with gains, while Shanghai and Tokyo were in the red.
Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a positive note in mid-session deals.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude dipped 0.10 per cent to USD 76.52 per barrel.
The rupee surged 23 paise to close at 75.03 against the US dollar on Friday, extending its gains for the seventh straight day, as risk appetite improved amid easing fears of fallout from the Omicron coronavirus variant.
Foreign institutional investors remained net sellers in the capital market on Thursday, as they offloaded shares worth Rs 271.59 crore, as per exchange data.