The rupee firmed up by 10 paise to 67.70 against the United States dollar in early trade today on increased selling of the American currency by banks and exporters amid the greenback's weakness against some currencies overseas.
No let-up in selling by foreign funds and surging crude oil prices in global markets dragged down the key indices.
As BJP's lead narrowed in the counting of votes in Karnataka, the Congress went on to offer its support to the JD (S) to form the government.
Overall forex market has been hampered on the heels of the boiling global crude prices - its highest advances since 2014 is squeezing the carry-trade returns on the rupee to a point where they are the worst in Asia. "Even the political situation could keep traders on their feet post whatever happened in Karnataka", he added. The broader 50-stock Nifty closed 4.75 points lower at 10,801.85. The indices had, however, opened on a positive note. The 30-share index fell by 125.10 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 35,024.02 in the opening trade.
Major laggards were Wipro, HDFC Bank, L&T, Tata Motors, Adani Ports, Bharti Airtel, Asian Paints, Maruti Suzuki, ICICI Bank, Reliance Industries and ITC Ltd falling by up to 1.28 percent.More news: Microsoft to Launch Cheaper Tablet Line to Rival Apple's iPad
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net sold shares worth Rs 830.94 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought equities to the tune of Rs 428.92 crore yesterday, provisional data from stock exchanges showed.
In the Asian region, Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.48%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.54%.
The US Dow Jones Industrial Average, however, ended 0.22 percent down in Thursday's trade.
Scrip-wise, fraud hit Punjab National Bank's (PNB) stocks slumped around 14 per cent (intra-day) on Wednesday, a day after the bank reported a loss of over Rs 13,000 crore for the fourth quarter of 2017-18.