Key equity benchmarks closed in red on the first day of the new derivatives expiry.Indices have gained over 6 percent in the last fortnight and seems like traders have lightened their positions in the realty and banking stocks ahead of the monetary policy review on May 3.
Key equity benchmarks ended down Friday, with the market ignoring good earnings numbers from frontline companies like Maruti Suzuki, Hero Motocorp and ICICI Bank.
Brokers attributed the weakness to profit booking, as the market had risen around 6 percent over the last fortnight.
The Sensex closed at 19286.72 down 120 points and the Nifty ended at 5871.45 down 45 points.
Over the last couple sessions, there have been more positive surprises than negative ones. However, the market appears to have priced in much of the good news, and gains have been restricted to stocks of companies delivering on the numbers.
Shares of LIC Housing Finance, Maruti Suzuki and Idea Cellular were among the best performers of the day, rising 5-6 percent on strong fourth quarter numbers.
Hero Motocorp’s quarterly net profit declined 5 percent, but the drop was lower than what analysts were expecting.
The next key trigger for the market is the RBI policy review on May 3. It is widely expected that the central bank will cut interest rates by 25 basis points, as inflation is showing signs of cooling down.
Bharti Airtel, Bajaj Auto, GAIL and Larsen & Toubro were the big gainers in the Nifty. HCL Tech, Jindal Steel, Reliance Industries, Jaiprakash Associates and HUL figured among the losers.
Key gainers in the midcap space included Welspun Corp, Sobha Developer, United Phosphorous, Blue Dart, TTK Prestige ended.
Shares of Delta Corp were hammered 10 percent after the company reported a net loss in its fourth quarter and a decline in revenues. Trading in the stock was frozen after there were only sellers. Unitech, HDIL, Persistent and Punj Lloyd were the other big losers.