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After a five-session winning streak, Indian equity indices took a negative turn and closed sharply lower on Friday, with financials bearing the brunt of Bajaj Finance’s weak outlook.

The 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex declined 609 points or 0.82% to settle at 73,730. The broader NSE Nifty dropped 150 points or 0.67% to end at 22,420.

Both the indices opened about 0.25% higher before swinging between gains and losses.

Bajaj Finance, L&T, Kotak Mahindra Bank, SBI, and ICICI Bank exerted downward pressure on the Sensex. Conversely, Tech Mahindra, ITC, Axis Bank, and Wipro contributed positively to the index. Notably, Bajaj Finance alone dragged the indices down by 137 points.

NBFC Bajaj Finance dropped 7.7% after its quarterly results, dragging the highest-weighted financial services index 0.9% lower.

The IT index rose about 0.3%. Tech Mahindra surged 7.3% and was the top Sensex gainer after the company announced a three-year business plan.

Among individual stocks, L&T Technology Services fell 8% on muted Q4 performance.

Zensar Technologies jumped 8% after the company reported a robust set of numbers for the March quarter.

The market breadth was skewed in the favour of the bulls. About 1,996 stocks gained, 1,784 declined, and 133 remained unchanged on the BSE.

Expert Views

“The unexpected surge of the US core PCE price index, accompanied by weaker-than-forecasted GDP growth and Treasury yield spikes, impacted market sentiments. Investors are concerned about the possibility of a looming recession in the US,” said Vinod Nair, head of research, Geojit Financial Services.Indian market lagged its Asian and European peers due to worries over lofty valuations and lacklustre Q4 earnings, fuelling expectations of downward revisions for FY25 earnings, Nair said.

Rupak De, Senior Technical Analyst at LKP Securities, said, “The Nifty remained under selling pressure throughout the session as the index failed to sustain above the crucial level of 22,500. Immediate support is situated at 22,300, below which the Nifty could extend its losses towards 22,000. On the other hand, the level of 22,500 might act as a technical resistance for the Nifty.”

Global Markets

Global stocks were teetering on Friday towards their worst month since September, although futures markets predicted that strong tech earnings would spark a Wall Street relief rally later in the day that would help traders recoup some losses.MSCI’s broad index of global stocks was down 3.3% for the month, although 0.17% higher on the day. In Europe on Friday, the benchmark Stoxx 600 share index rose 0.6%, still heading for a 1.4% monthly drop.

Crude Oil

Oil prices rose on Friday, on track to end higher this week after two straight weeks of losses, after a top US official expressed optimism over economic growth and as supply concerns lingered due to conflicts in the Middle East.

Brent crude futures gained 19 cents, or 0.2%, to $89.20 a barrel, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose by 25 cents, or 0.3%, to $83.82 a barrel.

Currency Watch

The Indian rupee closed little changed on Friday but logged its strongest week-on-week rise in nearly three months following a recovery from its all-time low hit last week.

The rupee ended at 83.34 against the US dollar, barely changed from its previous close at 83.3150. The currency logged a weekly rise of 0.15%, its strongest since the week ended February 2.

(With inputs from agencies)

  • Published On Apr 27, 2024 at 08:10 AM IST

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