The News International Team
The market was lacklustre on the very first day of the year 2015 as frontline indices recouped (marginal) losses in late trade to close flat with a positive bias. However, the broader markets outperformed benchmarks with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices rising 0.65 percent and 1.25 percent, respectively.
The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 8.12 points to 27507.54 and the 50-share NSE Nifty advanced 1.30 points to 8284 amid low volumes.
Experts remained optimistic on the market in 2015 but they don’t see huge gains like 2014.
Prashant Jain of HDFC Asset Management says, ” We cannot expect gains in 2015 to be more than 2014 but expect equities to outperform other asset classes in the long term.”
He is optimistic on the economic recovery, saying India is one of the few countries where interest rates will come down.
Auto stocks were in focus today as investors were keenly watching auto sales data for the month of December. Maruti Suzuki posted strong numbers in December, in fact slightly better-than-expected as sales for Ciaz Cnd celerio led to good overall growth. Sales grew by 20.8 percent year-on-year to 1.09 lakh units. Eicher Motors too posted good sales in December with its total commercial vehicle sales rising 20.7 percent to 3,387 units and motorcycle sales up 48 percent to 28,634 units (Y-o-Y).
Two-wheeler major Hero Motocorp’s sales grew 0.2 percent to 5.26 lakh units and TVS Motor’s sales jumped 20 percent to 1.92 lakh units compared to same period last year. Utility vehicle maker M&M reported 8.3 percent degrowth in sales. TVS Motor shares rallied 3 percent while other stocks saw marginal gains.
Bharti Airtel topped the buying list, up 3 percent followed by Sesa Sterlite with 2 percent upside. Tata Steel climbed over a percent as the steel maker will resume iron ore mining from Noamundi, Jharkhand in 2-3 days.
PSU banks were also in focus on reports of consolidation in the banking space. State Bank of India was up 0.7 percent. Its subsidiaries State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Travancore gained 2-5 percent. Andhra Bank was up 2 percent as media report suggested that the bank is a probable candidate for a merger with Bank of Baroda or PNB.
Meanwhile, a day after data showed that coal output grew by 14.5 percent in November, coal secretary, Anil Swarup told CNBC-TV18 that Coal India’s output is expected to grow by 10 percent in 2015 at 507 million tonnes. For over a decade now, Coal India’s output has been rising by less than 5 percent a year. Swarup said arrangements are in place to despatch all these 507 million tonnes. Coal India declined 0.9 percent.
Shares of HDFC, ITC, Reliance Industries, Dr Reddy’s Labs, TCS, HDFC Bank and NTPC were down 0.3-1 percent.
In the broader space, Jet Airways rallied 9 percent and SpiceJet gained 5 percent after oil marketing companies slashed aviation turbine fuel prices by Rs 7,520.52 per kilolitre or 12.5 percent to Rs 52,422.92 per kl today. Oil companies also slashed non-subsidised LPG price by Rs 43.50 per cylinder following consistent fall in international oil prices.
Saurashtra Cement surged 20 percent as market regulator SEBI directed promoters to make open offer while Jayaswal Neco and Prakash Industries rallied 14 percent and 2 percent, respectively as these companies deposited the additional levy of Rs 98.17 crore and Rs 234.2 crore with government.
Kalpataru Power shot up 7 percent as it bagged new orders worth Rs 560 crore. Clariant Chemicals was up 12 percent as company received Rs 1,102.50 crore in full & final payment in connection with its agreement to sell its land located in Thane, Mumbai.
About 1847 shares advanced while 983 shares declined on the Bombay Stock Exchange.