Market benchmark Sensex ended little changed today as investors weighed outlook ahead of the start of earnings season, while for the week, equities plummeted by more than 2.30 per cent due to profit-booking in winners from the last month’s rally.
Broader markets, however, outperformed with mid-cap and small-cap ending higher by 0.64 per cent and 0.63 per cent, respectively.
In range-bound movements, Sensex fell by marginal 11.58 points, but the NSE Nifty managed to eke out a small gain.
On a weekly basis, both the indexes logged their second straight weekly fall. The BSE Sensex plunged 595.80 points or 2.35 per cent and the NSE Nifty dropped 157.85 points or 2.04 per cent.
Volume remained low as foreign funds and domestic players kept their commitments restricted on expectations of muted fourth quarter earnings.
In stock specific action, the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki slipped 1.22 per cent on Japanese Yen’s strength against the greenback and vehicles sales falling 0.30 per cent last month.
Shares of National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) rose 1.26 per cent as the company secured orders worth Rs 17,516 crore in 2015-16.
Sensex after moving between 24,736.03 and 24,608.51 ended lower by 11.58 points or 0.05 per cent at 24,673.84. The gauge had lost 215.21 points yesterday amid mixed global cues.
Nifty 50-issue NSE, however, inched higher by 8.75 points or 0.12 per cent to 7,555.20.
TCS took the biggest hit among Sensex stocks by falling 1.71 per cent, followed by Hero MotoCorp at 1.62 per cent.
The equities in March had capped their best show since January 2012 -- a surge of over 10 per cent—on a global rally, Indian government sticking to its fiscal consolidation path and hopes of a rate cut by Reserve Bank.
Overseas, most Asian equities ended at a three-week low with indices in South Korea, Singapore and China losing ground to settle lower between 0.09 per cent and 0.78 per cent while those in Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan finishing higher by 0.46 per cent to 0.60 per cent, respectively.
Europe was higher with oil rising above USD 40 a barrel.
Major losers were TCS (1.71 pc), Hero MotoCorp (1.62 pc), HUL (1.23 pc), Maruti (1.22 pc), Infosys (1.21 pc), Axis Bank (1.16 pc), Wipro (1 pc), ONGC (0.84 pc), Tata Motors (0.77 pc), Asian Paints (0.55 pc), Tata Steel (0.52 pc), Cipla (0.40 pc), Coal India (0.21 pc) and Sun Pharma (0.08 pc).
However, NTPC rose by 3.95 per cent followed by BHEL 2.64 per cent, Lupin (2.27 pc), M&M (1.69 pc), GAIL (1.57 pc), Bajaj Auto (1.26 pc), Adani Ports (0.85 pc) and Bharti Airtel (0.78 pc).
Among BSE sectoral indices, IT fell by 0.82 per cent, Teck 0.66 per cent, consumer durables 0.59 per cent and auto by 0.08 per cent while utilities rose 1.59 per cent followed by power 1.58 per cent, realty (1.44 pc), capital goods (0.97 pc), industrials (0.48 pc), oil&gas (0.40 pc), finance (0.39 pc) and FMCG (0.35 pc).
Meanwhile, foreign investors sold shares worth a net Rs 294.72 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.
The market breadth turned positive as 1,483 stocks ended higher and 1,042 declined, while 164 ruled unchanged.
The total turnover declined to Rs 1,956.81 crore from Rs 2,956.03 crore yesterday.