Sensex edges lower as investors pocket gains

Sensex edges lower as investors pocket gains
Highlights

The NSE Nifty has risen 6.75 per cent while the BSE index climbed 7.02 per cent this month until Wednesday’s close.

Mumbai: Indian shares edged lower on Friday as investors sold to benefit from recent gains, with losses in energy stocks outweighing gains in index heavyweights such as Larsen and Toubro.

"Indian equities have posted one of the sharpest gains recently, and today is a case of the markets taking a breather, especially with it being a holiday-shortened week," said Sunil Sharma, chief investment officer, Sanctum Wealth Management.

"Markets have discounted a fair amount of positives in the short term, and any further rally is likely to be driven by fundamentals and positive news flows."

Indian markets witnessed a pre-election rally in the last few sessions, fuelled by optimism that the current coalition government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi would return to power.

The broader NSE Nifty fell 0.28 per cent to11,488.75 as of 0634 GMT. The benchmark BSE Sensex too lost 0.28 per cent to 38,274.03.

The NSE Nifty has risen 6.75 per cent while the BSE index climbed 7.02 per cent this month until Wednesday's close. India's financial markets were shut on Thursday for a public holiday.

Both indexes were poised to register a fifth week of gains.

Shares of Larsen & Toubro Ltd rose as much 3.2 per cent, their highest since Jan. 3, while NTPC Ltd added as much as 3.3 per cent.

Shares of low-cost carrier SpiceJet Ltd jumped as much as 14.2 per cent on upbeat February passenger data.

Energy stocks traded lower, with the Nifty Energy index losing as much as 0.8 per cent. Oil prices on Friday hovered close to 2019 peaks reached the previous day, propped up by supply cuts led by producer club OPEC and by US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.

Coal India Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corp fell as much as 2.9 per cent and 2.8 per cent, respectively.

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