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Equity benchmark Sensex tanked 678 points on Friday, tracking losses in index majors Reliance Industries, Infosys and HDFC Bank amid a weak trend in global markets.

The 30-share index plunged 677.77 points or 1.13 per cent to end at 59,306.93. Similarly, the NSE Nifty fell 185.60 points or 1.04 per cent to 17,671.65.

Tech Mahindra was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding over 3 per cent, followed by NTPC, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank and Reliance Industries.

On the other hand, UltraTech Cement, Tata Steel, Maruti, Titan and Dr Reddy's were among the gainers.

"The domestic market continued to witness selling as energy and private bank stocks remained under pressure following dull global sentiments," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

European markets opened weak even as the ECB decided to keep policy rates unchanged despite the inflationary pressure. US futures were trading in red following slow GDP growth and disappointing earnings from tech giants, he noted.

"Decisions of the Fed in its meeting next week will be a major factor that will drive global equities in the coming days," Nair added.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai and Tokyo ended with gains, while Hong Kong and Seoul were in the red.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading with losses in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude advanced 0.23 per cent to USD 83.85 per barrel.

Rupee inches Higher By 4 Paise To End At 74.88 Against US Dollar

The rupee gained 4 paise to close at 74.88 (provisional) against the US dollar on Friday despite volatile domestic equities, as IPO-related inflows and some pullback in crude oil prices supported the local unit.

At the interbank forex market, the domestic unit opened at 74.78 against the greenback and witnessed an intra-day high of 74.74 and a low of 74.98 during the day's trade. It finally ended at 74.88 a dollar.

On Thursday, the rupee had settled at 74.92 against the US currency.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, advanced 0.22 per cent to 93.55.

This week remained relatively calmer even after volatile domestic equities, however retreat of crude oil and dollar index from high added tailwind in rupee, said Dilip Parmar, Research Analyst, HDFC Securities.

"With multiple IPOs lined up in coming weeks, dollar supply looks huge but at the same time, weakness in equities could limit the price action within range," Parmar said.

The downside as well as upside remains capped, with the market heading towards a holiday truncated week.

"From the level front, spot USDINR is likely to consolidate in the range of 74.70 to 75.20," Parmar said.

Gold Declines Rs 271; Silver Cracks Rs 687

Gold in the national capital on Friday slipped Rs 271 to Rs 46,887 per 10 gram reflecting a decline in international precious metal prices, according to HDFC Securities.

In the previous trade, the precious metal had settled at Rs 47,158 per 10 gram.

Silver also slumped Rs 687 to Rs 63,210 per kilogram from Rs 63,897 per kilogram in the previous trade.

In the international market, gold was trading lower at USD 1,795 per ounce and silver was flat at USD 23.89 per ounce.

"Gold prices traded weak with spot gold prices at COMEX trading 0.18 per cent down at USD 1,795 per ounce on Friday," HDFC Securities Senior Analyst (Commodities) Tapan Patel said.

The yellow metal prices traded under pressure on stronger dollar and mixed global cues, he added.

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