Domestic stock markets finished nearly unchanged on Friday, a day after government data showed retail inflation soared to a five-month high of 5 per cent in June. BSE benchmark index Sensex closed 6 points lower at 36,541 while the NSE Nifty shed 4 points to settle at 11,018. A selloff witnessed in PSU banks, FMCG and pharma stocks led the declines, despite gains in other Asian markets. The markets lost steam a day after the Sensex registered an all-time closing high of 36,548.
Annual retail inflation rose 5 per cent in June, but was below market expectations, according to a Thomson Reuters poll. June was the eighth straight month in which inflation was higher than the Reserve Bank of India’s medium-term target of 4 per cent.
Public sector lenders took a hit, with the Nifty PSU bank index dropping 2.1 per cent. State Bank of India slipped 2.1 per cent while Bank of Baroda fell 1.2 per cent.
HCL Technologies shares declined 2.3 per cent, a day after the software services exporter approved a buyback proposal on Thursday.
However, an uptick in oil prices pushed energy stocks higher, which limited the downside in the markets. Reliance Industries gained 1.7 per cent.
Infosys Ltd, which is due to report results later today, closed 2.2 per cent higher.
Asian markets took a breather from concerns around escalating US-China trade war, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.56 per cent.