The benchmark equity indices traded lower Friday amid weak global sentiment after the US killed a top Iranian general, triggering fears of a conflict in the oil-rich region. The 30-share BSE index was trading 128.73 points or 0.31 per cent lower at 41,497.91. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty slipped 41.05 points or 0.33 per cent to 12,241.15. Asian Paints was the top loser in the Sensex pack, followed by Tata Steel, HDFC Bank, Mahindra and Mahindra, HUL, IndusInd Bank and Maruti. ONGC was the top gainer, followed by TCS, Infosys, HCL Tech, Tech Mahindra, Sun Pharma and Hero MotoCorp. In the last session, the 30-share gauge ended 320.62 points, or 0.78 per cent, higher at 41,626.64. The closed 99.70 points, or 0.82 per cent, up at 12,282.20 — its new closing record.
The brent crude rose 4.4 per cent to $69.16 and WTI jumped 4.3 per cent to 63.84. The rupee depreciated 17 paise to 71.56 against the US dollar in the morning session. The gold prices shoot up after the Iranian top commander is killed in an airstrike by the US in Baghdad. “We expect the trend to be positive although the yellow metal may witness large swings in intraday but Rs. 39,800-39,700 is good support. Previous an all-time high on the MCX was Rs. 39,885 has been breached now and the market is open for further gains. For intraday Psychologically, Rs. 40,000 looks an evident resistance but with sharply weakening rupee, gold may rally even higher. Gold price may not stop here, if geopolitical risk escalates,” Jigar Trivedi, Research Analyst- Commodities Fundamental, Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers said.
Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign institutional investors bought equities worth Rs 688.76 crore, and domestic institutional investors purchased shares worth Rs 63.95 crore on Thursday, data available with stock exchanges showed.