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Equity benchmarks fell on Friday after a continuous rally, with the Sensex and Nifty declining over 1 per cent each amid profit-taking and weak global market trends.

The 30-share BSE Sensex, which had started the trade on a firm note, later gave up all the early gains and ended 651.85 points or 1.08 per cent lower at 59,646.15. During the day, it tanked 823.43 points or 1.36 per cent to 59,474.57.

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The broader NSE Nifty fell 198.05 points or 1.10 per cent to settle at 17,758.45.

From the Sensex pack, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finserv, Bajaj Finance, Tata Steel, State Bank of India, Maruti, NTPC, Hindustan Unilever and Reliance Industries were among the biggest laggards.

On the other hand, Larsen & Toubro, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services were the gainers.

In Asia, markets in Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo ended lower, while Hong Kong settled in the green.

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Stock markets in Europe were trading mostly lower during mid-session deals. Wall Street had ended higher on Thursday.

“Profit-booking amid weak global cues impacted domestic indices as concerns about interest rate hikes hung over the markets. Additionally, the recent rally of the dollar index and FIIs turning net sellers has surprised bulls. Broad-based selling was witnessed with the index heavyweights dragging the index further down,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Meanwhile, the international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 1.38 per cent lower at USD 95.25 per barrel.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) turned net sellers after many days, offloading shares worth Rs 1,706 crore on Thursday, according to exchange data. PTI SUM SUM ABM ABM

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