Sensex, Nifty in red | Top stocks in focus
Nifty 50 index closed 0.26 per cent or 43.70 points lower at 16,584.3, while the S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.09 per cent or 48.88 to 55,769.23.
- Sensex and Nifty still clocked their third straight week of advances with gains
- Reliance Industries hovered just shy of record highs
- Shares of UltraTech Cement slid 5.5 per cent
A bout of late selling in automakers and banks knocked India’s blue-chip stock indexes off four-week highs and into negative territory on Friday, although strength in information technology shares and Reliance Industries helped limit the decline.
The NSE Nifty 50 index closed 0.26 per cent or 43.70 points lower at 16,584.3, while the S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.09 per cent or 48.88 to 55,769.23. The indexes still clocked their third straight week of advances with gains of around 1.5 per cent each.
“There is huge volatility in key economic variables and commodity prices, especially crude, which is keeping investors on edge,” said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice president research, SMC Global Securities. “Inflation is still the major concern.”
Earlier in the session, both the Nifty and the Sensex had risen as much as 1 per cent as Reliance Industries hovered just shy of record highs and IT stocks tried to stage a recovery after eight straight weeks of losses.
The Nifty IT index gave up some gains to close 0.37 per cent higher and notched a weekly rise of around 4.4 per cent. The index has dropped 22.7 per cent so far this year amid losses in global peers on concerns over valuations and attrition.
Shares of Reliance Industries – India’s most valuable company – climbed 2 per cent and were among the biggest boosts to the indexes.
The Nifty Auto index led losses among sub-indexes with a 1.8 per cent drop. India’s top carmaker Maruti Suzuki fell 2.8 per cent. The Nifty PSU Bank index which tracks state-run lenders, slipped 1.4 per cent.
Shares of UltraTech Cement slid 5.5 per cent after the company said it would spend $1.66 billion to boost capacity as it looks to stave off competition from the sector’s newest entrant Adani Group.
Grasim Industries – UltraTech Cement’s parent company – fell 6.5 per cent, while rivals Shree Cement, ACC and Ambuja Cements also declined.
Meanwhile, specialty chemicals firm Aether Industries closed 20.6 per cent higher in its market debut after its $104 million initial public offering received a strong investor response.