Sensex closes week with a fall, first in 6 weeks
The market's first weekly fall in six came after the Sensex on Friday stayed on the side of caution despite deep swings as it failed to completely shake off growing concerns about US Fed action later this month.
Investors looked forward to Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen's speech to check for any confirmation on March rate increase.
The Sensex started lower and continued its slide to hit a low of 28,716.21, but across-the-board buying towards the finish line saw it recover most losses to settle down by 7.34 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 28,832.45.
The gauge had lost 145 points in the previous session as investors booked profit after the recent run-up.
On similar lines, the wider NSE Nifty closed down 2.20 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 8,897.55, after shuttling between 8,860.10 and 8,907.10.
On a weekly basis, the BSE Sensex fell 60.52 points, or 0.20 per cent, and the Nifty 41.95 points, or 0.46 per cent, halting a five-week rising streak.
Services sector activity rebounded in February for the first time since October -- as was borne out by the Nikkei India Services PMI.
"Q3 of FY17 GDP growth has cleared the demonetisation test. Now, investors are focusing on whether the election results (on March 11) of five states can do the same," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
Global cues remained weak following fresh losses in Asian markets, which had a bearing on the movement here.
South Korea's Kospi sank 1.14 per cent. Europe too traded with losses in its early sessions.
HDFC tanked most by falling 1.89 per cent, followed by Asian Paints 1.34 per cent. Others that lost included ITC, ICICI Bank, SBI, Maruti Suzuki, M&M, Bharti Airtel and TCS.
As many as 16 stocks moved down while 14 ended higher.
Heavy-weight Reliance Industries surged 2.04 per cent, its highest level since May 2008. GAIL took the first slot by climbing 3.56 per cent.
FMCG burnt its fingers, followed by banks, auto and capital goods, while oil and gas gained 1.12 per cent and realty 0.86 per cent.
Stocks of sugar companies were in the limelight, driven by 19 per cent fall in sugar production during the first five months of 2016-17. Dhampur Sugar, Dwarikesh Sugar, K M Sugar, Upper Ganges Sugar and Sakthi Sugar jumped by up to 11.82 per cent.
Broader markets beat the overall trend, with small-cap and mid-cap indices turning higher.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth net Rs 122.94 crore yesterday, as per provisional data. (PTI)