MUMBAI : Profit booking after four consecutive sessions of gains pulled the Indian equity markets lower on Friday. Besides, market observers pointed out, investors were cautious ahead of the release of the new series of Wholesale Price Index (WPI), Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data with the revised base year of 2011-12, which are slated to be released later in the evening.
Sentiments were also hampered by global cues and heavy selling pressure in banking, consumer durables and healthcare stocks.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 21.50 points or 0.23 per cent to close at 9,400.90 points.
The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 30,285.61 points, closed at 30,188.15 points -- down 62.83 points or 0.21 per cent from its previous close at 30,250.98 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 30,299.74 points and a low of 30,111.45 points during the intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was bearish, with 1,784 declines and 993 advances.
In terms of the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index fell by 0.69 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.80 per cent.
"Markets ended with marginal losses on Friday after four sessions of gains. The market cut losses in late trade after extending intra-day losses and hitting fresh intra-day low in mid-afternoon trade. Investors were cautious ahead of key economic data scheduled later in the day today," Deepak Jasani, Head (Retail Research), HDFC Securities, told IANS.
"Major Asian markets have ended on a mixed note. European indices like FTSE 100, CAC 40 and DAX traded higher on the back of the Bank of England yesterday, 11 May 2017, leaving its key interest rate at 0.25 per cent."
Anand James, Chief Market Strategist of Geojit Financial Services, said: "NPA (non-performing assets) worries have resurfaced after a banking major's report differed with the RBI's NPA classification, and investors may be seeing this as a warning that there could be more such divergences over bad loan estimates."
"Skymet's warning of weak monsoon also served to put brakes on recent rallies, as much of the momentum was built on IMD's forecast for normal monsoons. This would mean that inflation numbers scheduled later in the day assumed more significance, especially since there is a base year change."
On the currency front, the rupee strengthened by eight paise to 64.30 per US dollar from its previous close of 64.38.
In investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased stocks worth Rs 841.80 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) divested scrip worth Rs 710.83 crore.
Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, said the equity benchmark Index CNX Nifty (futures) traded with bearish sentiments tracking mixed global cues and profit booking.
"IT sector stocks outperformed the bearishness of the Indian equity markets on strong buying support. However, shares of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals plunged as much as 16.50 per cent and registered their biggest intra-day fall in seven years after the company reported lower than expected financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017," Desai told IANS.
Sectorwise, the S&P BSE banking index fell by 231.74 points, followed by the consumer durables index by 158.56 points and the healthcare index by 99.27 points.
On the other hand, the S&P BSE IT index rose by 115.05 points, the Teck (technology, media and entertainment) index by 38.03 points and the automobile index by 26.85 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Friday were: Infosys, up 2.12 per cent at Rs 963.90; Hero MotoCorp, up 2.11 per cent at Rs 3,563.95; Cipla, up 1 per cent at Rs 566.60; Sun Pharma, up 0.81 per cent at Rs 653.60, and Tata Motors, up 0.70 per cent at Rs 430.40.
Major Sensex losers were: Asian Paints, down 3.04 per cent at Rs 1,132.30; Axis Bank, down 2.80 per cent at Rs 502.60; ICICI Bank, down 1.23 per cent at Rs 296.65; Adani Ports, down 1.20 per cent at Rs 354.65; and HDFC, down 0.96 per cent at Rs 1,546.70.