The BSE benchmark Sensex struggled for direction in a day of volatile trade, falling 58 points to 31,213.36 as investors took to profit-booking amid a mixed trend in global markets ahead of UK elections and the European Central Bank’s policy meeting.
On home turf, sentiment was hit by the Reserve Bank pegging GDP growth for the current fiscal lower at 7.3 per cent and saying that rush for farm loan waivers may have inflationary spillovers, brokers saId.
The 30-share index resumed higher at 31,316.91 and hovered in a range of 31,354.51 and 31,193.77 before settling at 31,213.36, showing a loss of 57.92 points, or 0.19 per cent.
The gauge had gained 80.72 points in the previous session on better monsoon forecast and status quo on policy rates by the RBI on Wednesday.
The NSE 50-share Nifty also down 16.65 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 9,647.25, after shuttling between 9,688.70 and 9,641.50.
“With RBI decision past, markets looked to have retracted into a shell, awaiting further sparks. While UK election and ECB meet added to the restraint, pharma space saw buying after the recent falls attracted bargain buyers. Investors will now look forward to emerging confidence among industry participants as GST rollout approaches, Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services Ltd said.
Despite a strong start to trade, key benchmark indices retreated sharply from their higher levels following fresh bouts of profit-taking as investors were in a risk-off mode given geopolitical headlines dominating global arena.
Investors remained focused on the critical UK general election in which voting is getting underway along with the European Central Bank’s policy meeting and congressional testimony from ex-FBI director James Comey.
Oil and gas suffered the most by falling 1.38 per cent, followed by IT 1.33 per cent, teck 1.19 per cent, PSU 0.60 per cent, consumer durables 0.58 per cent, capital goods 0.36 per cent, realty 0.21 per cent, FMCG 0.19 per cent and banking 0.15 per cent.
In 30-sensex kitty, TCS suffered the most by plunging 3.59 per cent to Rs 2,521.50. In line with overall trend, Infosys too shed 0.54 per cent to Rs 956.30, while Wipro lost 0.06 per cent to Rs 548.50.
Other laggards were GAIL, HeroMotoCorp, Asian Paints, ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel, M&M, Hind Unilver, ONGC, L&T, Reliance Industries, SBI, Coal India, ITC Ltd and Adani Ports, falling by up to 3.44 per cent.
However, pharma stocks such as Dr Reddy, Sun Pharma and Cipla attracted fresh buying, gaining up to Rs 3.79 per cent and cushioned the fall.
The broader market outperformed the key indices with the small-cap index rising 0.30 per cent and the mid-cap index rose 0.23 per cent after investors widened their portfolios.
Globally, in the Asian region, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.38 per cent, while Shanghai Conmposite Index rose 0.32 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng went up 0.34 per cent.
Stock markets in Germany, France and UK were up in early trade.
Meanwhile, Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 73.79 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) had also bought shares worth a net Rs 166.22 crore on Wednesday as per provisional data.