Mumbai: Indian equity markets extended losses for the second consecutive week as bearish global cues and outflow of foreign funds curbed investors' risk-taking appetite.
Besides, investors remained cautious over a weak rupee and fourth quarter results.
The week ended April 21 witnessed the barometer 30-scrip S&P BSE Sensex slipping by 96.15 points or 0.33 per cent to 29,365.30 points, while the wider 51-scrip NSE Nifty fell by 31.4 points or 0.34 per cent to 9,119.40 points.
"Markets corrected further this week with the Nifty witnessing some volatile upward spikes during the week. Investors were cautious ahead of the first round of Presidential elections in France over the weekend and as geopolitical tensions between the US and North Korea weighed on sentiment," Deepak Jasani, Head - Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
"The market breadth was positive in three out of the five trading sessions of the week. The BSE mid-cap index rose 0.95 per cent and the BSE small-cap index gained 1.91 per cent."
Market observers were of the view that trading was largely range bound throughout the session as the on-going earnings seasons failed to create excitement for investors.
Even on the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 20-21 paise to 64.61 against a US dollar from last week's close of 64.41-42.
"Market participants remained cautious with the report that IMF (International Monetary Fund) trimmed India's annual growth forecast by 0.4 percentage points to 7.2 per cent for 2017, citing the temporary negative consumption shock induced by cash shortages and payment disruptions from the recent demonetisation move," Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.
"Sentiments remained subdued with Reserve Bank of India's report that credit growth plunged to a whopping six-decade low of 5.08 per cent in the financial year 2016-17, as against 10.7 per cent a year ago."
In addition, the inbound investments depressed the equity markets. Provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold stocks worth Rs 3,001.77 crore during the week, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought scrip worth Rs 2,492.43 crore.
Figures from the National Securities Depository (NSDL) revealed that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) off-loaded equities worth Rs 1,865.74 crore, or $289.19 million, during April 17-21.
However, the India Meteorological Department's (IMD) first stage forecast of the southwest monsoon arrested a further slide.
"The June-September southwest monsoon is critical for the country's agriculture because a considerable part of the country's farmland is dependent on the rains for irrigation. IMD's forecast has settled most investor concerns for growth," pointed out Vijay Singhania, Director, Trade Smart Online.
In another positive development during the week ended Friday, Industrialist Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) had regained its position as the most valued company of the country.
On Friday, RIL overtook Tata Group's multinational IT company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in terms of market capitalisation during the intra-day trade. The company's shares closed on Friday higher by 2.22 per cent at Rs 1,399.75 per share which lifted its market capitalisation to Rs 455,105.33 crore.
In 2017, RIL's indirect subsidiary Reliance Exploration & Production DMCC sold its 76 per cent stake in Gulf Africa Petroleum to France's Total SA.
Sector-wise, the top gainers were the realty, infrastructure, fertilisers and cement indices. The top losers were the metals, telecom and pharma indices.
The top weekly Sensex gainers were: Gail (up 5.59 per cent at Rs 400.50), HDFC Bank (up 3.99 per cent at Rs 1,496.75), Power Grid (up 3.11 per cent at Rs 205.60), Reliance Industries (up 2.59 per cent at Rs 1,399.75) and HDFC (up 2.19 per cent at Rs 1,507.15).
The losers were: Sun Pharma (down 7.55 per cent at Rs 640.05), Coal India (down 4.73 per cent at Rs 277.20), ICICI Bank (down 4.51 per cent at Rs 269.15), Axis Bank (down 4.12 per cent at Rs 485.80), and State Bank of India (SBI) (down 3.04 per cent at Rs 282.15).
(Porisma P. Gogoi can be contacted at email@example.com)