Mumbai: Key Indian equity indices — the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty50 — descended by almost one per cent each during the mid-afternoon trade session on Friday as weak Asian markets, on the back of geo-political risks and depreciation of the rupee subdued investors’ sentiments.
Heavy selling pressure in banking, capital goods and consumer durables stocks aided in the downslide of the indices.
The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) slipped below the psychologically important 10,000-mark intra-day, which was reclaimed on September 11. It touched a low of 9,992.15 points during intra-day trade.
Around 1.15 p.m., it traded at 10,011.05 points — down 110.85 points, or 1.10 per cent.
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 32,339.50 points, traded at 32,075.72 points — down 294.32 points, or 0.91 per cent, from its previous close at 32,370.04 points.
The Sensex has so far touched a high of 32,342.81 points and a low of 32,023.37 during intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,876 declines and 571 advances.
“Stocks in Asia dropped after a report that North Korea threatened with a hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific in response to fresh sanctions,” said Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls.
“The Indian rupee weakened past 65-mark against the US dollar. Pharma stocks rose in early trade led by Dr. Reddy’s, Sun Pharma and Cipla, whereas shares of ICICI Bank, Tata Steel and Hindustan Unilever fell,” he added.
On Thursday, caution over a US Federal Reserve rate-hike in December, coupled with a weak rupee and profit booking by investors, pulled the benchmark indices lower to close in the red.
The Nifty50 fell by 19.25 points, or 0.19 per cent, to close at 10,121.90 points, while the Sensex closed at 32,370.04 points — down 30.47 points, or 0.09 per cent.