Sensex down 17 points

Mumbai: Snapping three straight days of gains, the Sensex on Friday fell 17 points amid a depreciating Indian rupee as investors remained wary of the global economy`s revival a day after central banks in EU, China and the UK loosened monetary policies.

After resuming marginally higher in the morning, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index moved in a narrow 130-point range and closed 17.55 points down to 17,521.12. The Sensex had gained 140 points in last three days and on Thursday had ended at 17,538.67, its highest closing in 3 months.

In the 30-share Sensex, 18 stocks including heavyweights Infosys and Reliance Industries declined while 12 stocks, led by ICICI Bank and HDFC, closed higher. The market breadth was weak with over 1,500 stocks down out of 3,028 scrips traded. Eurozone and Chinese central banks on Thursday slashed interest rates while Bank of England unveiled fresh stimulus worth 50 billion pounds. "The rate cuts by ECB and PBoC had little impact on markets and have been discounted," said Dipen Shah, Head Fundamental Research, Kotak Securities.

Meanwhile, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia`s comment on Friday that achieving average growth rate of 9 per cent in the next five years is not possible soured the market mood. Brokers said investors also turned cautious ahead of quarterly earnings by companies led by software majors Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys release results on July 12.

The sentiment weakened further as the rupee fell the most in two weeks to 55.6 a dollar on speculation measures announced by European policy makers will not revive global economic growth, analysts said. A mixed trend in Asia and lower opening in European stocks further influenced the market sentiment. Benchmark indices in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan declined while European markets were also trading lower as indices in France, Germany and London dropped in afternoon.

Similarly, the 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 10.35 points, or 0.19 per cent to 5,316.95. Key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan declined by 0.04 per cent to 0.92 per cent while indices in China and Singapore firmed up. In Europe, France`s CAC, Germany`s DAX and the UK`s FTSE were last trading 0.14-0.42 per cent down. Back home, 11 out of 13 sectoral indices closed lower.

Among the sectoral indices, the BSE-Realty dropped by 1.20 per cent, followed by the BSE-Metal (1.09 pc), the BSE-CD (1.08 pc), the BSE-CG (1.03 pc) and the BSE-Power (0.83 pc). However, the BSE-FMCG firmed up by 0.67 per cent and the BSE-Bankex dropped by 0.18 per cent.

"Banking stocks witnessed fresh buying on hope RBI will cut rates on July 31 credit policy. FMCG stocks witnessed bargain hunting. However realty, auto, metal and IT stocks witnessed profit booking," said Shubham Agarwal, Associate VP & Senior Technical Equities Analyst, Motilal Oswal Securities.

Major losers from the Sensex pack were Jindal Steel (3.17 pc), Sterlite Industries (2 pc), Tata Power (1.99 pc), Maruti Suzuki (1.93 pc), Hero MotoCorp (1.74 pc), L&T (1.57 pc), Infosys (1.47 pc), Gail India (1.09 pc), Wipro (1.03 pc) and Bajaj Auto (1.01 pc).

Among gainers, ICICI Bank rose by 1.55 per cent, follwoed by HDFC (1.27 pc), M&M (1.16 pc), HUL (1.15 pc), Cipla (1.08 pc) and ITC (1.06 pc). The total turnover dropped to Rs 2,111.63 crore from Rs 2,925.55 crore on Saturday. Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) remained net buyers and they pumped in Rs 429.22 crore on Saturday as per provisional data from stock exchanges.