Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty ended marginally lower Friday following a sudden sell-off at the fag end of the session amid weakness in IT bluechips. After trading on a positive note through the day, the BSE Sensex ended 18.17 points, or 0.05 per cent, lower at 38,963.26. During the day, the index touched an intra-day high of 39,172.76 and a low of 38,920.17. In similar movement, the broader NSE Nifty slipped 12.50 points, or 0.11 per cent, to close at 11,712.25. In the Sensex pack, losers included TCS, HUL, Tata Steel, HCL Tech, Infosys, Bajaj Finance, HDFC, IndusInd Bank, Asian Paints, ITC and Vedanta, shedding up to 3.70 per cent. IT stocks came under pressure after tech giant Cognizant slashed its full-year revenue growth outlook. A strengthening rupee also weighed on the counters. The US-headquartered Cognizant, which has a significant portion of its employees based in India, revised its full-year 2019 revenue growth outlook to 3.6-5.1 per cent in constant currency terms, significantly less than 7-9 per cent projected just months ago.
HUL too ended in the red ahead of its quarterly results. On the other hand, Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank, NTPC, Yes Bank, Tata Motors, ONGC, Bajaj Auto, M&M, Maruti, Hero MotoCorp and Kotak Bank rose up to 3.11 per cent. Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought equity worth Rs 597.54 crore on Thursday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares to the tune of Rs 791.69 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed. Elsewhere in Asia, Kospi and Hang Seng ended on a mixed note, while other major bourses in China and Japan were shut for holidays. European equites started off on a firm footing. The rupee, meanwhile, appreciated marginally to 69.34 against the US dollar intra-day. Global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.62 per cent lower at USD 70.31 per barrel.