Mumbai, Mar 25 Benchmark indices closed lower for the third consecutive session on Friday.

Market opened on a muted note amid weak global cues. Indices extended losses during the day, witnessing selling pressure across multiple counters.

The BSE Sensex closed at 57,362.20, down 233.48 points or 0.41 per cent. It recorded an intraday high of 57,845.37 and a low of 57,100.24. The Nifty 50 closed at 17,153.00, down 69.75 points or 0.4 per cent. It recorded an intraday high of 17,294.90 and a low of 17,076.55.

Over 2,000 stocks declined

In terms of the market breadth, 2,078 stocks declined on the BSE as against 1,329 that advanced, while 103 remained unchanged. Furthermore, 19 stocks hit the upper circuit as compared to the one stock that was locked in the lower circuit. Besides, 132 stocks touched a 52-week high level and 39 touched a 52-week low.

Bajaj Auto, Adani Ports, State Bank of India, Reliance and Asian Paints were the top gainers on the Nifty 50 while Titan, Tech Mahindra, Maruti, IOC and Eicher Motor were the top laggards.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services said, “After the recent 10 per cent rally, the market has turned sideways with a negative bias due to increase in commodity prices, tightening monetary policy and inflationary pressure.”

“Domestic market is showing strong resilience but to sustain the trend a lot will depend on the outcome of the war & commodity prices.  Ease in covid restrictions in India is a boost for sectors like hospitality, multiplex, transportation, leading to the outperformance,” said Nair.

According to Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research (Retail), Kotak Securities Ltd, “Equity markets globally and in India continued to digest global events including the on-going Russia Ukraine conflict, rate hike by US Fed & other central banks and rise in coronavirus cases in some countries.”

“Equity markets in India remained range-bound this week with the BSE midcap and the BSE small cap index outperforming the larger indices. Supply-demand imbalances across various commodities are leading to investor interest in select stocks/index. Crude oil prices may have corrected from the recent highs but is still at elevated levels.  Given the uncertainty with respect to the Russian-Ukraine conflict, oil prices and few commodities prices could likely to stay volatile and elevated,” said Chouhan.

Realty in focus

On the sectoral front, realty and PSU Bank managed to retain gains. Consumer durables, IT FMCG, auto, and pharma dragged.

Nifty Realty was up over 1 per cent at closing while Nifty PSU Bank was up 0.49 per cent.

Meanwhile, Nifty Consumer Durables was down nearly 2 per cent. Nifty IT was down 1 per cent. Nifty FMCG and Nifty Pharma were down nearly 1 per cent. Nifty Auto was down 0.56 per cent.

Broader indices

The broader market also faced pressure.

Nifty Midcap 50 was down 0.39 per cent while the Nifty Smallcap 50 was up 0.58 per cent. The S&P BSE Midcap was down 0.36 per cent and the S&P BSE Smallcap was down 0.33 per cent.

The volatility index softened 2.08 per cent to 23.43.

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