Equity indices Sensex and Nifty declined on the last trading day of 2023 as investors preferred profit-taking after the recent sharp rally, finishing a record-setting year with benchmarks surging by up to 20 per cent.
After a five-day winning run, selling pressure emerged in energy, banking and IT counters on Friday, which dragged indices lower, traders said.
The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 170.12 points or 0.23 per cent to settle at 72,240.26 after a weak beginning to the trade. During the day, it dropped 327.74 points or 0.45 per cent to 72,082.64.
The wider gauge Nifty declined 47.30 points or 0.22 per cent to settle at 21,731.40. In intra-day trade, the index slipped 101.8 points or 0.46 per cent to 21,676.90.
In 2023, the BSE benchmark jumped 11,399.52 points or 18.73 per cent, and the Nifty climbed 3,626.1 points or 20 per cent.
Among the Sensex firms, State Bank of India, Infosys, Titan, Tech Mahindra, IndusInd Bank, NTPC, ICICI Bank, Power Grid, Reliance Industries and Kotak Mahindra Bank were the major laggards.
On the other hand, Tata Motors, Nestle, Hindustan Unilever, Tata Steel, Bajaj Finance and UltraTech Cement were among the gainers.
"The market witnessed mild profit booking on the last trading day of the year. The euphoria is expected to continue during the start of the next year on account of the exuberance of rate cuts and the drop in bond yields. Oil prices, on the other hand, fell by 10 per cent during the year, which could ease inflationary pressure and support the operating performance of the corporates.
"We feel that though the outlook on broader indexes is moderate in the short to medium term, the large caps will maintain their vibrancy due to strong earnings growth and in anticipation of the continuation of premium valuation," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
In Asian markets, Tokyo settled lower while Shanghai and Hong Kong ended with gains. Markets were closed in South Korea.
European markets were trading in positive territory. The US markets ended on a mixed note on Thursday.
Rising for the fifth consecutive day, the BSE benchmark jumped 371.95 points, or 0.52 per cent, to settle at an all-time closing high of 72,410.38 on Thursday.
The Nifty climbed 123.95 points, or 0.57 per cent, to settle at a fresh record of 21,778.70.
In the last five trading sessions, the BSE benchmark rallied 1,904.07 points or 2.70 per cent, and the Nifty climbed 628.55 points or 2.97 per cent.
Global oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 0.86 per cent to USD 77.81 a barrel.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought equities worth Rs 4,358.99 crore on Thursday, according to exchange data.