MUMBAI: The Indian markets fell on Friday for the eighth consecutive session to close at a near nine-week low following reports that trade talks would go into a second day even after new US tariffs on Chinese goods were likely to take effect around midnight in New York.
At closing, the Sensex was down 0.26% to 37,462.99 points, while the NSE Nifty 50 index declined 0.20% to 11,278.90 points. In the last eight sessions, the Sensex has declined nearly 4% or 1,500 points while the Nifty is down around 4% or 470 points.
"Market trade remained highly volatile, hovering in the green and red across the neutral line. Overall, sentiments remained sluggish. We expect volatility to continue in the coming week as investors remain cautious over the progress on US-China trade talks and election results," said Rajnath Yadav, research analyst at Choice Broking.
The US is set to increase tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% from 10%. The two nations would resume discussions on Friday after a working dinner involving Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the White House said.
"Lingering trade tension between the US and China combined with anxiety ahead of crucial macroeconomic data -- IIP and CPI inflation -- are weighing on sentiment. We expect volatility to remain high next week too," said Jayant Manglik, president, retail distribution, Religare Broking.
Back home, quarterly earnings of companies remain in focus. Of the 19 Nifty companies that have so far announced results, nine have either met or exceeded analyst estimates.
"The earnings season has not panned out well. We have started to see signs of slowdown in the economy. There may be further earnings downgrades in more sectors. Investors are also wary of taking aggressive positions before the general election results to be announced on 23 May," said Sanjeev Zarbade, vice-president, PCG Research, Kotak Securities Ltd.
Zarbade advises investors to be selective about the quality of management and the business. Also, investors should avoid investing in companies that have a high share of promoter pledges as stocks of such companies have come under selling pressure in recent days.