Mumbai– Consistent outflow of foreign funds along with global factors, including weak Asian equities, geopolitcal tensions in Middle East and high crude oil prices pulled the key Indian equity indices lower on Friday.

According to market analyts, heavy selling pressure was witnessed in the automobile, healthcare and metal stocks.

Index-wise, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 10,618.25 points, down by 61.40 points or 0.57 per cent from the previous close.

Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed in the red. It opened at 35,144.96 points and closed at 34,915.38 points — down 187.76 points or 0.53 per cent — from its previous session’s close.

The Sensex touched a high of 35,206.55 points and a low of 34,847.61 points during the intra-day trade.

Overall, the BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,631 declines and 1,075 advances. On the NSE, too, the market breadth was negative throughout the day.

In the broader market segment, the S&P BSE mid-cap dropped by 0.35 per cent, and the S&P BSE small cap ended 0.25 per cent lower.

“Markets corrected further on Friday as the Nifty ended in the red for the third consecutive day. Sentiments were hit on the back of data showing that FPIs and domestic institutional investors turned net sellers of Indian stocks yesterday,” Deepak Jasani, Head, Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

He further said: “Major Asian markets have closed on a negative note barring the Taiwan index.”

Brokerage firm Tradebulls’s Director and Chief Operating Officer Dhruv Desai said: “Indian equities ended in red in-line with global markets, along with political factors of elections in the key state of Karnataka.”

Commenting on the day’s trade, Geojit Financial Services’ Head of Research Vinod Nair said that: “Market continued to fall amid weak global cues and flight of foreign funds ahead of US job data.”

“Rupee weakened as positive US employment data might lead to (US) Feds monetary tightening. Mixed earnings from corporates and valuation concerns compared to other emerging markets influenced investors to book some profit.”

On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 22 paise to 66.87 against the US dollar from its previous close at 66.65 per greenback.

In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 1,628.23 crore, while the domestic institutional investors purchased stocks worth Rs 1,084.09 crore.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE consumer durables index was the only gainer that rose by 262.61 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE auto fell by 278.80 points, the healthcare stocks receded by 146.88 points and the metal index declined by 145.92 points.

The major gainers on the Sensex on Friday were Adani Ports, up 2.87 per cent at Rs 408.20; HDFC Bank, up 1.03 per cent at Rs 1,987.85; Hindustan Unilever, up 0.70 per cent at Rs 1,465; Power Grid, up 0.58 per cent at Rs 207.75; and IndusInd Bank, up 0.47 per cent at Rs 1,886.65 per share.

The top losers were Sun Pharma, down 2.95 per cent at Rs 518.75; Bajaj Auto, down 2.74 per cent at Rs 2,890.50; Yes Bank, down 2.43 per cent at Rs 345.40; ITC, down 2.37 per cent at Rs 277.50; and Axis Bank, down 2.27 per cent at Rs 520.30 per share. (IANS)