Profit booking, weak rupee subdue equity markets

Mumbai: Key Indian equity markets were on Friday suppressed by profit booking, a weak rupee and lower crude prices. The key indices traded in the red during the mid-afternoon trade session, with the Sensex tanking around 200 points at one point of time. Heavy selling pressure was seen in IT (information technology) and TECK (media, entertainment and technology) stocks. The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 27,966.14 points, traded at 27,848.01 points (at 1.30 p.m.) -- down 94.10 points or 0.34 per cent from the previous close at 27,942.11 points. It touched a high of 28,048.70 points and a low of 27,735.87 points during the intra-day trade.  The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bears -- with 1,464 declines and 1,005 advances. The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged down to 8,553.70 points -- down 11.30 points or 0.13 per cent. On Thursday, the benchmark indices closed in the positive territory, supported by positive global cues and a strong rupee. The barometer index was up 126.93 points or 0.46 per cent, while the Nifty edged up by 45.50 points or 0.0.53 per cent.  Initially on Thursday, the equity indices opened on a flat note, mainly due to the skepticism prevailing ahead of the earnings results of IT major Infosys. The markets were also seen taking a conservative approach after disappointing macro-economic inflation data released on Thursday. Official data disclosed that the wholesale inflation (WPI) surged to 20-month high of 1.62 per cent in June from 0.79 per cent in May due to a rise in food prices. Although the cues from the global markets were largely positive, lower crude oil prices dampened investors' risk-taking appetite. Moreover, profit booking and a weakening rupee aided to cap gains. However, healthy progress of the monsoon and expectations of the GST (Goods and Services Tax) bill passing in the parliament session beginning Monday provided some support to prices at the lower levels. “There was a tendency to losses and gains mainly due to profit booking. The Infosys results added momentum to that,” Anand James, Chief Market Strategist at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, said. “Oil prices were down almost a percentage. However, the global markets were largely positive,” he added.  “The rupee has also been weakening since morning due to an optimism seen in the pound.”