The stock markets ended Friday's choppy session on a lower note, with BSE benchmark index Sensex declining 95 points. The NSE Nifty shed 39 points to settle at 10,696. Losses in the indices were led by weakness in banking stocks however gains in auto stocks capped the downside. Thirty four stocks on the 50-scrip index Nifty finished in the negative zone. Top laggards on the index were Bajaj Finserv, ONGC, Eicher Motors, Tata Steel and GAIL India, ending with losses of between 2.4 per cent and 3.1 per cent.
The Nifty Bank - the NSE's sectoral index of banking stocks - settled nearly 1 per cent lower. State Bank of India (SBI) shares closed 1 per cent lower while HDFC Bank declined 1.3 per cent and Punjab National Bank (PNB) fell 0.8 per cent.
On the other hand, ICICI Bank shares rose 1.2 per cent, after the country's largest private sector bank denied a media report that it has asked its chief executive Chanda Kochhar to go on leave until an independent inquiry on alleged cases of impropriety is concluded. During Friday's session, ICICI Bank shares had gained as much as 5 per cent at the day's highest point.
Metal stocks also declined. The Nifty Metal index dropped 0.7 per cent. Tata Steel, SAIL and Hindustan Zinc closed between 1.7 per cent and 5 per cent lower.
Among IT stocks, Tech Mahindra was among the lead decliners, settling 1.6 per cent lower. TCS closed 0.5 per cent lower and Infosys fell 0.9 per cent.
GDP growth accelerated to 7.7 per cent in the March quarter - the fastest pace of growth in seven quarters. With that, India retained its position as the world's fastest growing major economy in Q4, well ahead of China. The faster pace of growth in the latest quarter might also strengthen expectations of an interest rate increase by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as its reviews monetary policy next week.
Strong growth in agriculture (4.5 per cent), manufacturing (9.1 per cent) and construction sectors (11.5 per cent) contributed to the overall growth. For the full year (2017-18), GDP expanded at 6.7 per cent, lower than the 7.1 per cent recorded in the previous year.
On Wednesday, separate data showed annual infrastructure output grew 4.7 per cent in April, as against an upwardly revised 4.4 per cent in March. However, for fiscal year 2017-18, infrastructure growth slowed to a three-year low of 4.2 per cent. Infrastructure shares also weakened. GMR Infra declined 7.7 per cent, Jaiprakash Power Ventures 4.3 per cent and Suzlon Energy fell 4 per cent.
The Nifty Auto finished 0.7 per cent higher. Maruti Suzuki India and Bajaj Auto shares rose 3.2 per cent and 5.3 per cent respectively. Both the auto makers reported strong sales in the fourth quarter. Maruti Suzuki India reported an increase of 26 per cent in its total sales last month while Bajaj Auto posted a 30 per cent jump.
Meanwhile, weather office IMD or India Meteorological Department on Wednesday retained its average monsoon rains forecast.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net sold shares worth Rs 15.31 crore on Thursday and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) Rs 266.02 crore, provisional data from the NSE showed.
(With agency inputs)