Stocks: The BSE benchmark Sensex extended losses for the 4th straight week by slipping another 151 points to end the week at two-month low of 19,317.01 on persistent selling pressure from operators ahead of the Union Budget next week amidst uncertainty about US monetary policy.
Shares of Metal, FMCG, Banking, Consumer Durable and Auto sectors declined sharply on profit-booking while Realty, IT, Healthcare and Refinery counters attracted good buying support at lower levels.
Brokers said wary operators and retail investors turned cautious ahead of the Budget this month-end as also expiry of Futures and Options (F&O) contracts on the same day, and preferred to reduce their positions to pick up fundamentally strong scrips.
The BSE 30-share Sensex resumed up at 19,496.25 and firmed up further to a high of 19,742.42. But, weak global cues on Thursday triggered heavy sell-off on local bourses on concerns over the US Federal Reserve's policy-tightening moves
to reduce liquidity.
The minutes of the last Fed meeting have raised concerns that, the Fed may withdraw the monetary stimulus if there is some improvement in the economic data. This has raised concerns about fund flows across asset classes, including emerging markets.
It then moved downwards to settle at two-month low of 19,317.01, showing a loss of 151.14 points or 0.78 pct. It has lost 786.52 points or 3.91 pct in straight four weeks.
The NSE-50 share Nifty also declined by 37.10 points or 0.63 pct to 5,850.30. IT has also lost 224.35 points or 3.69 per cent in the last four weeks.
Moody's warning on India's widening trade deficit and tepid activity in global markets also had a sentimental impact on the market.
Fall in Sensex-based counters like Jindal Steel, Coal India, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, ITC, ICICI Bank, Hindalco, Maruti Suzuki, HDFC Bank, Bharti Airtel, Sterlite Ind, SBI, HDFC and HUL mainly weighed on the market sentiment.
However, smart rise in RIL, Infosys, Wipro, TCS and Sun Pharma restricted the fall to some extent.
Metal counters were the worst sufferer on concerns over the Chinese property market as China is the world's largest consumer of copper and aluminium.
FMCG giant and among the heavyweights, Cigarette major ITC tumbled by 2.88 pct after the Gujarat state government increased the VAT on cigarettes to 30 pct from 25 pct in the state government's FY 2014 budget presented on Wednesday.
On the other hand, the heavyweight, Relinace Industry (RIL) ended higher by 2.10 pct after it said it will invest USD 5 billion along with BP in the flagging KG-D6 fields.
The company on Friday said that Reliance Sibur Elastomers (RSEPL), a joint venture between the company and SIBUR, has begun construction of a new butyl rubber plant at Jamnagar in Gujarat, which will be the country's first and amongst the world's top five manufacturers of butyl rubber when commissioned in 2015.
"This week market corrected as usually happens at the time of settlement which should not disturb investors. It has become a regular feature. Nifty at 5850, the valuations are neither expensive nor cheap. What can drive markets from here on is policy measures and liquidity. In my opinion US will defer its decision of withdrawing stimulus," said Kishor P Ostwal, CMD, CNI Research Ltd.
"As regards Budget, it is almost known everyone. Fiscal Deficit will be at 4.8 pct so what one should look at the budget? Will market go up or down? Everyone had taken huge long positions after the bullish statement issued by FM and all have seen their stop losses getting triggered. There is definite road map of dealing with diesel decontrol. This should be huge positive for OIL sector," Ostwal commented.
"In 2007 FIIs were sellers from July till December and market kept on rising and now the exactly reverse is happening. In recent months FII are large buyers and stock
markets are falling to new low of the year. In fact, even the bullish tone of hon'ble Finance Minister is of no use," he further added.
19 scrips out of the 30-share sensex pack ended in the red while 11 others finished in the green. Major losers were Jindal Steel 7.47 pct, Coal India 4.94 pct, Tata Motors 3.63 pct, Tata Steel 3.06 pct, ICICI Bank 2.83 pct, Hidnalco 2.32 pct, Maruti Suzuki 2.24 pct, HDFC Bank 2.23 pct and Bharti Airtel 2.03 pct.
However, besides RIL, Wipro gained by 4.19 pct, Sun Pharma 3.20 pct, Infosys 1.84 pct and Gail India 1.00 pct.
Among the sectoral indices, the BSE-Metal fell 3.46 pct, BSE-FMCG 2.28 pct, Bankex 2.06 pct, BSE-CD 1.45 pct and BSE-Auto 1.25 pct while the BSE-Realty firmed up by 3.76 pct, BSE-IT 1.97 pct, BSE-HC 1.53 pct and BSE-Oil&Gas 1.47 pct.
Meanwhile, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) continued their buying by investing net Rs 1,887.60 crs including the provisional figure of February 22.
The total turnover at BSE and NSE dropped to Rs 8,773.91 crs and Rs 49,738.97 crs respectively as against Rs 10,144.22 crs and Rs 53,329.49 crs last week.