Mumbai - A benchmark for Indian markets Friday slipped below the 18,000-mark as traders continued to offload stocks, capitalising on weeks of gains that saw valuations soar in less than two months.
The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 18,079.01 points, was ruling at 17,943.97 points, 134 points or 0.79 percent down from its previous close at 18,078.50 points.The Sensex has been on the downtrend since the last two days.
The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange was trading lower at 5,444.55 points, down 38.75 points or 0.71 percent from its previous close.
Broader markets were also in the red, with the BSE 500 index trading 0.63 percent lower. The BSE midcap index was down 0.36 percent while the BSE smallcap index was trading flat.
As per the sectoral indices on the BSE, banking, capital goods and realty stocks were among the biggest losers. Metals and consumer durable scrips were on the rise.
Prominent gainers on the 30-scrip Sensex included Sterlite Industries, Coal India, TCS and Tata Steel, while among the losers were HDFC, L&T, ICICI Bank and RIL.
The market breadth was negative with 1,087 stocks advancing, 1,437 on the decline and 132 unchanged.
Asian markets saw moderate gains amid worries on rising oil prices. However, there was some positive news, as jobless claims fell to their lowest levels in nearly four years in the US and a business confidence indicator in Germany moved up to a seven- month high.
The Japanese Nikkei moved up 0.58 percent to end at 9,647.38 points, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was ruling flat at 21,378.03 points.
The Chinese Shanghai Composite index was ruling 0.78 percent higher at 2,428.36 points.