The News International Team
It was a weak start to the week on Monday as the equity benchmarks fell more than a percent weighed down by banks, technology, capital goods, metals and auto stocks. The selling pressure extended in afternoon trade after a quiet start to the week.
The 30-share BSE Sensex shed 338.70 points to 28119.40 while the 50-share NSE Nifty closed way below the 8500-mark, down 100.05 points. The broader markets dropped too; the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices slipped 1.2 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.
Experts believe it was the case of a healthy correction. One should not be worried during such falls, rather he/she should buy quality stocks on such dip, say experts who are gung-ho about the bull market continuing as the government stays the course on reforms and the macro economic environment improves.
Atul Suri of Rare Enterprises said it is a buy on dips market but it is better to follow the longer trends in the market. He believes the Nifty will rally nearly 22 percent over the next six-nine months and will touch 10,460 by mid 2015.
Neelkanth Mishra, Credit Suisse believes the market is likely to continue to pay more for growth, and the Indian market is not expensive yet. “It is likely to see the strongest earnings growth, with among the least severe downward revisions,” he says.
Among stocks, Infosys was the biggest loser, down 4.84 percent as 3.3 crore shares were traded in multiple blocks in early trade today in the price range of Rs 1,988 to Rs 2014. Reports indicated that the four founders offloaded stake worth USD 1.1 billion in the company for personal, philanthropic reasons.
Sesa Sterlite was another top loser, falling 3.6 percent after brokerage house Bank of America Merrill Lynch cut its earnings estimates for the metal and mining major and also the price target, citing falling crude and iron ore prices. The brokerage lowered earnings estimates for FY15-FY16 by 10-33 percent, and price target to Rs 268 from Rs 283 earlier.
Other prominent losers were TCS, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Larsen & Toubro, Reliance Industries, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, State Bank of India, Dr Reddy’s Labs, Hindalco Industries, BHEL and Tata Steel, down 1-3 percent.
However, ONGC gained 0.6 percent as media report suggested that oil ministry will cut subsidy burden of the state-run oil explorer and adjust its cess payment.
Cigarette major ITC gained for the third consecutive session today, up 1.6 percent on top of a 8 percent rally last week. Coal India topped the buying list on the Sensex, up 2.3 percent. Sun Pharma, Bharti Airtel and Cipla gained 0.6-0.9 percent.
In the broader space, Jet Airways climbed 10 percent on hopes of getting more market share after curbs on rival SpiceJet. Sources told CNBC-TV18 that Directorate General of Civil Aviation withdrew 186 slots of SpiceJet and asked the company to limit advance bookings to only a month.
SpiceJet shed 4.4 percent (on top of a 14 percent fall in previous session) ahead of board meeting for fund infusion plan. The company issued clarifications over the weekend indicating its international flying rights are not in jeopardy, its payables to suppliers is significantly less than the Rs 1,600 crore and the DGCA has asked for a payment plan to be shared with them by December 15.
Insurance companies such as Bajaj Finserv gained 7 percent as the coal and power minister Piyush Goyal said the insurance bill is likely to be passed in this session.
Arvind, Alembic, BEML, NCC, Bombay Dyeing, Ashok Leyland, Rural Electrification Corporation, Idea Cellular, Dish TV, JK Tyre and Crompton Greaves were top midcap losers, down 3.5-4.5 percent. However, Pipavav Defence, JBF Industries, Suzlon and Sintex gained 3-8 percent.
About 1141 shares advanced and 1803 shares declined on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
On the global front, Asian markets closed mixed with the Shanghai rising to a fresh 3-year high, up 2.81 percent. The trade surplus for November was at record high in China but exports disappointed as they slowed to a growth of only 4.7 percent versus estimates of over 8 percent.
Brent crude slipped below USD 68 per barrel mark after Morgan Stanley cut its Brent price targets. The brokerage now expects Brent crude price to remain around USD 70 a barrel in 2015.