The uncertain political environment in Karnataka along with high global crude oil prices and consistent outflow of foreign funds pulled the key Indian equity indices deep in the red on Friday.According to market observers, depreciation in the rupee eroded investor sentiment which was also impacted by broadly negative global markets.Index-wise, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) ended lower by 86.30 points or 0.81 per cent at 10,596.40 points from its previous close of 10,682.70 points.Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE declined to end in the negative territory. It had opened at 35,143.59 points, closed at 34,848.30 points -- down 300.82 points or 0.86 per cent -- from its previous session's close of 35,149.12 points.In the intra-day trade, barometer S&P BSE Sensex touched a high of 35,163.11 and a low of 34,821.62 points. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,856 declines against 765 advances."Benchmark indices, Nifty and Sensex ended in red for the fourth consecutive session, following mixed sentiment in global stock markets," said Dhruv Desai, Chief Operating Officer, Tradebulls.HDFC Securities' Head of Retail Research, Deepak Jasani said: "A combination of Brent crude oil prices hovering near the $80 per barrel mark, sustained selling from foreign funds and political uncertainty in Karnataka after the Supreme Court reportedly directed for floor test in Karnataka Assembly tomorrow (Saturday) affected the market sentiments."
"Broad market indices like the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices lost more, thereby underperforming the main indices," Jasani told IANS.Accordingly, the S&P BSE mid-cap declined by 1.47 per cent and the S&P BSE small-cap ended 1.62 per cent lower than its previous close.On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 30 paise against the US dollar to 68.01, from its previous close at 67.71 per greenback.In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 166.15 crore, while the domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 149.58 crore.Sector-wise, the S&P BSE FMCG index was the only gainer, rising by 98.76 points.On the other hand, the S&P BSE capital goods index fell the most, by 579.39 points, followed by auto index, which slumped by 452.36 points and the metal index that fell by 329.14 points.The major gainers on the Sensex were Hindustan Unilever, up 2.22 per cent at Rs 1,604.10; Kotak Mahindra Bank, up 1.99 per cent at Rs 1,294.25; IndusInd Bank, up 1.23 per cent at Rs 1,936.70; ITC, up 1.13 per cent at Rs 282.15; and Hero MotoCorp, up 0.31 per cent at Rs 3,565.50 per share.The top losers were Larsen and Toubro, down 3.54 per cent at Rs 1,316.05; Sun Pharma, down 3.21 per cent at Rs 464.70; ICICI Bank, down 3.21 per cent at Rs 286.40; Tata Motors, down 3.14 per cent at Rs 305.25; and Tata Steel, down 3.04 per cent at Rs 591.50 per share.