The BSE Sensex ended marginally lower Friday on losses in banking stocks as investors turned cautious after the minutes of RBI's latest policy meeting highlighted growth concerns. The 30-share Sensex settled 26.87 points, or 0.07 per cent lower at 35,871.48. The broader NSE Nifty inched up 1.80 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 10,791.65. During the week, Sensex rose 62.53 points or 0.17 per cent, while the Nifty advanced 67.25 points or 0.62 per cent. Kotak Bank was the biggest loser in the Sensex pack Friday, falling 3.71 per cent, followed by RIL, HDFC Bank, Bajaj Finance, PowerGrid, IndusInd Bank, Asian Paints, HDFC and ITC.
On the other hand, Yes Bank was the top gainer, spurting 3.23 per cent. Other winners were Vedanta, Tata Motors, NTPC, M&M, Maruti, ONGC and Hero MotorCorp, rising up to 2.86 per cent. Sectorally, the BSE bankex and finance indices fell up to 0.43 per cent. Energy and consumer durables too ended in the red. BSE metal, auto, realty, power and oil and gas indices gained up to 1.62 per cent. Broader indices outperformed the benchmarks, with the BSE Midcap index gaining 0.38 per cent and the small-cap gauge rising 0.77 per cent. According to traders, despite positive global cues, investor sentiment turned weak after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the minutes of its latest monetary policy meet after market hours Thursday.
The central bank's Monetary Policy Committee noted the "weakened growth momentum" amidst inflation cooling off as it delivered a surprise rate cut earlier this month. In his debut policy review as RBI Governor, Shaktikanta Das argued that there was a need to look at growth concerns. "Market turned range bound after the release of RBI minutes which hints at concerns of elevated core inflation and threat of global growth slowdown. "Additionally, 10-year yield inched higher while bank index underperformed. Inflow of domestic funds to market remains positive while tepid reaction from FIIs and lack of major triggers are impacting investors' sentiment," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net buyers to the tune of Rs 202.10 crore, and foreign institutional investors (FIIs) also bought shares worth a net Rs 55.48 crore on Thursday, provisional data available with BSE showed. Global markets rose as top trade officials from the US and China started their latest, and possibly the last round of talks to negotiate a comprehensive trade deal before their self-imposed deadline of March 1. In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.65 per cent, Shanghai Composite Index jumped 1.91 per cent and Korea's Kospi gained 0.08 per cent. Japan's Nikkei ended 0.18 per cent lower. In the Eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX was up 0.17 per cent, Paris CAC 40 rose 0.27 per cent, and London's FTSE gained 0.17 per cent in early deals. The benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.34 per cent to USD 67.30 per barrel. Meanwhile, the rupee appreciated 5 paise to 71.19 against the US dollar intra-day.