Widespread profit booking hammered stocks for the second straight session on Friday, with the Sensex tanking 746 points and the Nifty crashing below the 14,400-mark. The Sensex crashed primarily because investors off-loaded Reliance Industries ahead of its results, while banking and finance counters also bore the brunt of heavy selling amid lacklustre global cues.
The Nifty and the Sensex ended the week down by 0.43% and 0.32%, respectively. This is because investors chose to book profits at higher levels. The sector that saw the most gains this week was the Nifty Auto index rallying by 3.42%. Bajaj Auto and Tata Motors were among the top gainers of the Nifty for the week, rallying by 14% and 11%. Shares of Bajaj Auto soared 11.23% to close at Rs4,119.25 on Friday on impressive third quarter results.
The markets on Friday also reacted to the global sentiment which was weak on account of the rising novel Coronavirus cases in Europe and China. Moreover, investors decided to take profits after the strong rally in the US. The markets in China, South Korea and Hong Kong were down by 0.4% to 1.6%.
Siddhartha Khemka, head — retail research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said, “Going ahead, markets may continue to remain highly volatile ahead of monthly expiry and Union Budget 2021. The ongoing earning season which kicked off on a strong note last week would further add to the volatility.”
Foreign portfolio investors have pumped in $3.2 billion in total so far in January. The biggest gainers on the Nifty were Bajaj Auto, Hero Motocorp, Eicher Motors, Hindustan Unilever, and Ultratech Cement Company with gains of by 11.23%, 3.9%, 1.78%, 1.45% and 0.67%, respectively. The biggest losers were Axis Bank, Asian Paints, JSW Steel, ICICI Bank and Hindalco Industries, down by 4.48%, 4.25%, 3.97%, 3.75% and 3.74%.