Despite better-than-expected macro-economic growth indicators, the key Indian equity indices closed in the red on Thursday as weak global cues and the stress faced by the banking sector eroded the risk-taking appetite of investors.Market observers pointed out that the slide in domestic equity indices for the fourth consecutive session was led by the banking, consumer durables and metal sectors.The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed at 34,046.94 points -- down 137.10 points, or 0.40 per cent, from its previous close of 34,184.04 points.Similarly, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged lower during the day's trade session. It receded by 34.50 points, or 0.33 per cent, to close at 10,458.35 points.In the intra-day, the S&P BSE Sensex touched a high of 34,278.63 points and a low of 34,015.79 points.As per Deepak Jasani, Head - Retail Research, HDFC Securities: "Markets corrected further on Thursday as selling accelerated in the last one hour of trade. The weakness came on the back of weak global cues and as traders decided to keep their positions light ahead of a long weekend.""Major Asian markets have closed on a mixed note. European indices like FTSE 100, CAC 40 and DAX are trading in the red."
According to Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services: "The interim volatility is due to inflationary pressure, rise in 10 year bond yield and Feds rate hike trajectory a portion of which has already been factored in the market."On the currency front, the Indian rupee remained flat to close at 65.17-18 against the US dollar from its previous close at 65.18-19.In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors bought scrip worth Rs 241.85 crore, while domestic institutional investors sold stocks worth Rs 3.29 crore.Sector-wise, S&P BSE banking index receded by 241.66 points, consumer durables index by 151.06 points and metals index by 143.67 points.However, oil and gas and FMCG indices remained in the green.Major Sensex gainers on Thursday were: Coal India, up 1.05 per cent at Rs 312.80; IndusInd Bank, up 1.04 per cent at Rs 1,697.25; Hindustan Unilever, up 0.71 per cent at Rs 1,325.65, Kotak Bank, up 0.68 per cent at Rs 1,096.15 and Mahindra and Mahindra, up 0.58 per cent at Rs 733.The Sensex losers were: ICICI Bank, down 2.63 per cent at Rs 305.25; State Bank of India, down 2.31 per cent at Rs 262.55; Infosys, down 1.19 per cent at Rs 1,160.25; Adani Ports, down 0.67 per cent at Rs 405.50; and Axis Bank, down 0.66 per cent at Rs 526.10.The Indian equity markets will remain closed on Friday to mark the festival of Holi.