Profit booking drags Indian equities lower

Mumbai, Jan 20 (IANS) Profit booking, coupled with negative global cues and a weak rupee, dragged the Indian equities markets lower during the mid-afternoon trade session on Friday.

Besides, investors remained cautious ahead of US President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The key indices traded in the red, as stocks of banking, metal and consumer durables witnessed heavy selling pressure.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) receded by 70 points or 0.83 per cent, to 8,365.10 points.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 27,232.69 points, traded at 27,075.61 points (at 1.30 p.m.) — down 232.99 points or 0.85 per cent from the previous close at 27,308.60 points.

The Sensex has touched a high of 27,264.41 points and a low of 27,055.14 points during the intra-day trade so far.

The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bears — with 1,629 declines and 866 advances.

According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, the CNX Nifty traded in the negative territory as profit booking was witnessed at higher levels.

“The USDINR traded flat with no clear direction. Banking and pharma sector dragged the market down,” Desai said.

“It seems FIIs (foreign institutional investors) booked profit, but not initiated any fresh short position looking at the derivative data.”

On Thursday, the benchmark indices closed on a flat-to-positive note on the back of a weakened rupee and foreign fund outflows.

The NSE Nifty rose by 18.10 points or 0.22 per cent, to 8,435.10 points, while the BSE Sensex was up 50.96 points or 0.19 per cent.