Sensex pares losses to end flat on Friday, Nifty below 8,900
The market on Friday extended fall for the second straight session as investors booked profits after a sharp rally that lifted the benchmark indices to near two-year highs in the previous session.
The negative trade in Asian markets, which slipped on expectations of a US interest rate hike in March, also weighed on sentiment.
The S&P BSE Sensex settled the day at 28,832, down 7 points, while the broader Nifty50 ended at 8,897, down 2 points.
The broader market outperformed the frontline indices. BSE Midcap gained 0.3%, while BSE Smallcap added 0.4%
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was negative. On BSE, 1,450 shares fell and 1,372 shares rose. A total of 171 shares were unchanged.
Apollo Hospitals Enterprise fell 5% to Rs 1245 after a unit of Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah launched a block deal to sell $160 million worth of shares in the company.
Shares of BSE dipped 3% to Rs 886 to trade at its lowest level since its listing on February 3, 2017 and correcting 26% from its intra-day high of Rs 1,200, touched on the debut day.
Among gainers, GAIL (India) jumped over 3% to Rs 520 after the state-run gas company signed a time-swap deal with Swiss trader Gunvor to sell some of its US liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the Indian firm tries to ease the burden of its costly foreign LNG supplies. The stock was the leading Sensex gainer.
Reliance Industries (RIL) rose over 4% to Rs 1,288 in intraday trade after the company informed that entities forming part of the promoter group of the company intend to acquire from other promoter group entities by way of ‘inter-se’ transfer aggregating up to 1,190 million shares of RIL. The scrip settled the trade at Rs 1,259, up 2%
Shares of sugar companies were back into action with most of the stocks ending higher in the range of 5% to 12% in an otherwise weak market.
Dhampur Sugar Mills, Parrys Sugar, Dwarikesh Sugar Industries, Kesar Enterprises, Oudh Sugar Mills, Upper Ganges Sugar, Mawana Sugars, Dalmia Bharat Sugar and Industries and Ugar Sugar Works rallied up to 11% in intraday trade.