Indian shares erased early gains to end a tad lower on Friday ahead of this weekend's French presidential election.
The benchmark BSE Sensex ended down 57.09 points or 0.19 percent at 29,365.30, while the broader Nifty index dropped 17 points or 0.19 percent to 9,119.40.
Among the prominent decliners, Grasim Industries, Adani Ports, ITC, Cipla, Bank of Baroda, Wipro and Sun Pharma fell 2-3 percent.
On the positive side, Reliance Industries rallied 2.6 percent ahead of its quarterly results slated for release next week.
HDFC Bank climbed 2.5 percent as the private sector lender reported 18.25 percent annual growth in net profit for the fourth quarter ended March on higher interest and fee income.
Globally, other Asian markets rose broadly after the Nasdaq Composite hit record high overnight, buoyed by solid earnings led by American Express and on optimism for a U.S. tax overhaul.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated on Thursday that the Trump administration is close to bringing forward a major tax reform plan "very soon", regardless of the outcome of a healthcare overhaul bill.
European stocks were mixed in early trade as French election uncertainty prevailed and data showed U.K. retail sales posted their biggest quarterly fall in seven years during the first three months of 2017, a worrying sign for the economy amid rising prices since last year's Brexit vote.
by RTT Staff Writer
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