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Closing Bell: Sensex ends flat, Nifty holds 11,700; IT, FMCG stocks drag

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The BSE Sensex closed at 38,963, down 18 points, while the broader NSE Nifty50 ended at 11,712, falling 12 points.

Closing Bell: Sensex ends flat, Nifty holds 11,700; IT, FMCG stocks drag
The benchmark indices ended flat on Friday as investors remained cautious amid March-quarter earnings season. Fall in crude oil prices and a stronger rupee kept the sentiment positive. Gains in realty and banking indices were capped by losses in FMCG and IT sectors.
The BSE Sensex closed at 38,963, down 18 points, while the broader NSE Nifty50 ended at 11,712, falling 12 points. The indices posted marginal gains for the week.
Oil prices weakened as surging US output and an expected supply increase from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) weighed on markets.
Meanwhile, the rupee rose as much as 0.22 percent to its strongest level since April 15.
Indiabulls Housing Finance, Bharti Airtel, NTPC, YES Bank and ICICI Bank were the top gainers on the Nifty, while TCS, Britannia, Tech Mahindra, Adani Ports, and HUL fell the most on the index.
Financials accounted for most of the gains on the NSE Nifty. The Nifty PSU Bank index gained 1.2 percent while the Nifty Private Band index and the Nifty Bank was up 0.8 percent for the day. HDFC Bank added 0.5 percent and Kotak Mahindra Bank advanced 0.6 percent. Both stocks touched all-time high in intra-day deals.
Meanwhile, IT stocks slipped on stronger rupee and revision of CY19 revenue by Cognizant. TCS slipped over 3.5 percent, while Tech Mahindra and HCL Tech were down 2.3 percent and 1 percent, respectively. The Nifty IT index fell nearly 2 percent during the day.
FMCG stocks, which were also among the top losers on the index, fell on poor FY20 outlook. Britannia fell 3 percent post Q4, while Hindustan Unilever shed nearly 2 percent ahead of its quarterly results.
Globally, Asian stock markets stayed within tight ranges on Friday amid thin holiday trade and as investors awaited the release of key US jobs data and other directional cues.
Hong Kong stocks climbed 0.4 percent, the Australian market gained 0.1 percent, while Korea’s KOSPI slipped 0.5 percent and New Zealand shares eased 0.3 percent. China and Japan remained closed for holidays and will re-open on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
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