Reversing its Wednesday’s surprise rally, the benchmark BSE Sensex on Thursday fell by over 81 points to close at 24,772.97 as heavy selling in Tata Steel offset better-than-expected third quarter numbers of Infosys.
Depreciating rupee, which breached the 67-mark against dollar by slumping 41 paise to 67.26 (intraday) -- its weakest level since September 4, 2013 -- too weighed on the sentiment.
Infosys reported a better-than-expected 6.6% rise in its third quarter net profit and raised its annual revenue growth forecast, sending its shares up 4.28%.
Consolidated net profit rose to Rs 3,465 crore in December quarter compared with Rs 3,250 crore in the same period a year ago, the IT major said in a statement.
Meanwhile, deflationary trend eased in December with WPI inflation moving up to (-)0.73% as food articles, mainly vegetables, turned costlier.
On weaker Asian and European cues, the benchmark BSE index had opened about 300 points lower to hit a low of 24,473.22.
However, on revival of value-buying in select counters it managed to regain 25,000 mark briefly and touched a high of 25,018.46.
Finally, it ended 81.14 points or 0.33% down at 24,772.97.
The gauge had gained 172.08 points in Thursday’s highly volatile session.
The NSE Nifty settled the day 25.60 points or 0.34% lower at 7,536.80. Shares of Tata Steel slumped 3.36% to close at Rs 238.70 after global rating agency S&P downgraded the company on weak operating performance.
Besides, stocks of Axis Bank, SBI, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank too suffered losses of up to 3.90%, dragging down the BSE Banking index by 1.67%.
Out of the 30-share Sensex pack, 21 scrips ended lower. In broader markets, the BSE small-cap index edged lower by 1.27% while mid-cap shed 1%.
On global front, Asian markets ended mixed with Japan’s Nikkei plunging 2.68%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.59%, while Shanghai Composite index ended 1.97% higher.
European stocks tumbled in their early deals, wiping out gains from a two-day rally as investor concern over global growth prospects resurfaced.