A combination of several factors such as profit booking, negative global cues and a weak rupee resulted in key Indian equity markets ending lower on the last trading session of the week.
After trending higher in last few sessions on short-covering and encouraging signs of accelerating monsoon spread across the country, equity markets took a breather Friday as investors shunned capital goods, oil and gas, and banking stocks.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged down by 14.70 points or 0.2 percent lower to end at 8,323.20.
The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 27,292.20 points, mostly languished in negative territory and ended 0.3 percent lower or 74.59 points down at 27,126.90.
The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bears -- with 1,550 declines and 1,160 advances.
On Thursday, the benchmark indices closed flat -- marginally in the green -- after a volatile trading session induced by profit booking.
Initially on Friday, the key indices opened on a lower note, in sync with their Asian peers.
Besides, profit booking and a weak rupee dented investors' sentiments.
Further, investors' confidence was eroded by uncertainties ahead of key quarterly results. Infosys is expected to be the first bluechip firm to come out with its results on 15 July.
In addition, upcoming global event risks such as the release of US non-farm payrolls' data negatively influenced investors' sentiments.
The data assume significance as a healthy jobs growth figure can quicken the next rate-hike cycle.
A hike in the US interest rates can potentially lead FPIs (Foreign Portfolio Investors) away from emerging markets such as India.
"Profit booking, coupled with subdued Asian markets and uncertainties ahead of the quarterly earnings season weighed heavy on the equity markets," said Anand James, Chief Market Strategist at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.
According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, Nifty traded with bearish sentiments on selling pressure.
"IT, banking and auto stocks traded with mix sentiments, while sugar stocks faced resistance at higher levels due to profit booking," Desai noted.
With agency inputs