Sensex slipped into reverse gear on Friday as it wiped off Thursday’s paltry gains by closing 75 points lower, with investors taking a cautious line before start of the earnings season next week amid muted overseas cues.
It was a weekly loss for the market too, with the Sensex and the Nifty losing 18.01 points (0.06%) and 5.15 points (0.06%), respectively.
The corporate earnings season is officially going to kick off from July 15, when Infosys is due to come out with its results. Asia remained weak as US payroll data, which essentially serve as a pointer to the health of the American economy and are scheduled to be released on Friday, added to the level of suspense.
Despite all the global headwinds, an above-average monsoon so far and a strong chance of passage of the long-pending GST Bill in the upcoming Monsoon session are giving investors some early hopes.
Weighed down by fresh selling, mostly due to profit-booking in blue-chips, the Sensex remained in a range-bound before ending lower by 74.59 points, or 0.27%, at 27,126.90. As many as 16 lost while 14 gained.
The gauge had edged up 34.62 points on Thursday. The NSE Nifty closed down by 14.70 points, or 0.18%, at 8,323.20. “The market witnessed range-bound movement with negative bias as investors stayed put from making fresh long positions ahead of US job data due later on Friday. A better job data will provide an intermediate relief to the Fed from the underlying headwinds of Brexit,” said Vinod Nair, head of research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.
Telecom stocks took heavy blows as they fell by up to almost 4%, hit by concerns that DoT will soon issue demand notice of over Rs 12,500 crore to six telecom operators amid allegations of under-reporting of revenue to the tune of Rs 45,000 crore.
Bharti Airtel plunged 2.28%, Idea Cellular 2.86%, Reliance Communications 3.15% and Tata Teleservices 3.75%. Among 30-Sensex constituents, GAIL topped the losers list by falling 2.37% to Rs 375.45, followed by Adani Ports 1.59% to Rs 207.05.
Adani Ports, L&T, ONGC, Lupin, Coal India, ICICI Bank, SBI, HDFC Bank, RIL, HDFC, Bajaj Auto, M&M, ITC and TCS all lost by up to 1.43%.
In broader markets, the BSE small-cap index edged lower by 0.17% while mid-cap gained 0.11%. In terms of sectors, capital goods was the hardest hit as it fell the most by 0.99%, followed by oil & gas, infrastructure, PSU and metal.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net sold shares worth Rs 299.51 crore on Thursday, as per provisional data. Asian indices ended lower. Japan’s Nikkei slumped 1.11% while Hong Kong Hang Seng edged lower by 0.69%.
Shanghai Composite was down 0.95%. In early session, European stocks fell over the Brexit implications, which deepened over worsening health of Italian banks. London’s FTSE 100 index dipped 0.20%, Frankfurt’s DAX and Paris CAC 40 slipped 0.30% each.