Indian equities edge lower weighed by inflation worries

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) closed the week marginally lower at 18,266.1 points, down 0.33 percent or 59.99 points, compared to its previous weekly close of 18,326.09 points.

At the National Stock Exchange, the 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty too closed lower at 5,476.1 points, down 0.18 percent compared to the previous Friday close of 5,486.35 points.
Broader market indices closed lower as well, with the BSE midcap index closing 0.39 percent down and the BSE smallcap index losing 0.92 percent.

Latest data for food inflation showed that the index had risen to 8.55 percent for the week ended May 14, the highest level in four weeks.

Inflation based on wholesale prices also continued to reign high and was recorded at 8.66 percent in April. The persistent high inflation could lead to another round of hike by the Reserve Bank of India.

On a weekly basis, among the top gainers on the 30-scrip Sensex were: Cipla, up 4 percent at Rs.318.25; Tata Steel, up 3.7 percent at Rs.585.35; Hero Honda, up 3.5 percent at Rs.1,857.50 and Hindalco, up 3.5 percent at Rs.197.50.

Major Sensex losers included: BHEL, down 6.5 percent at Rs.1,936; Tata Motors, down 5.7 percent at Rs.1,088.65; SBI, down 3.4 percent at Rs.2,234.50, and TCS, down 2.4 percent at Rs.1,141.45.

Asian stocks fell, with some indices registering losses on a weekly basis, not seen in the last two years. Concerns over China's growth slowing down and the European debt crisis were the major reasons for the fall.

The Japanese Nikkei average ended the week 0.89 percent lower at 9,521.94 points, while the Shanghai composite index of the Chinese stock exchanges fell 5.2 percent at 2,709.95 points.

The Hang Seng of the Hong Kong stock exchange closed 0.35 percent lower at 23,118.07 points.

The European stock markets too ended the week in the red, although the losses were cut by a rally on Friday.

Among the European markets, the German DAX closed 1.42 percent lower at 7,163.47 points while the French CAC 40 ended 1 percent lower at 3,950.98 points. However, Britain's FTSE too moved down 0.16 percent at 5,938.87 points.

US markets too closed in the red.Wall Street closed the week on a weak note with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ending 0.56 percent lower at 12,441.58 points, while the S&P 500 moved down 0.16 percent at 1,331.1 points.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq ended 0.23 percent down at 2,796.86 points.

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