Sensex falls on profit taking, still set for best week in six

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Indian shares retreated further on Friday from record highs hit this week as investors booked profits ahead of a long weekend, but still were on track to post their biggest weekly gain in six.

The benchmark BSE Sensex and the broader NSE Nifty were headed for a near 2 percent gain this week, their best performance since mid-March as hopes of improving corporate earnings and accelerating economic growth lifted the indexes to all time highs.

“Markets have been rising for so long. Any selloff can be partly attributed to profit taking, especially ahead of the three-day weekend,” said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at HDFC Securities.

Indian markets are closed on Monday for a public holiday.

The broader Nifty was down 0.45 percent at 9,299.80 by 0533 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.40 percent lower at 29,908.49.

The bank Nifty fell 0.6 percent, snapping a five-session winning streak. Housing Development Finance Corp Ltd and HDFC Bank Ltd were the biggest losers on the index, dropping over 1.5 percent each.

Consumer goods and cigarettes maker ITC Ltd declined for a second day and was down 2.6 percent and was the biggest loser on the Nifty.

Among the losers, biopharmaceutical company Biocon Ltd fell as much as 3.4 percent after the company on Thursday reported a 62 percent plunge in March-quarter consolidated profit.

(Reporting By Darshana Sankararaman in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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