The News International Team
The market scaled new highs before succumbing to profit-taking at the end. The Nifty was at a kissing distance of 9000-mark intraday but saw some sharp cuts to end the day marginally in green ahead of January F&O series expiry tomorrow. The 50-share index closed at 8914.30, up up 3.80 points while the Sensex was down 11.86 points at 29559.18.
The market is likely to remain choppy ahead of the F&O expiry, says Sudarshan Sukhani of s2analytics.com. Infact, today’s choppiness might be an indicator that it has already begun, he adds. In the February series, he sees continued correction or consolidation, but it may be a lot less volatile than the January series. He believes the Nifty can touch 9000, but not overshoot the mark.
Echoing similar sentiments, Parag Thakkar of HDFC Securities says most of the pre-Budget rally is already done with. He believes it to be a bottom up market. “Within the same space there are winners and losers,” he adds.
Investors were also cautious as the Fed’s first two-day policy meeting of the year concludes tonight. The policymakers will likely restate their “patient” approach to raising rates, while also voicing faith that the economy will continue improving. The Federal Reserve is expected to signal it remains on track to begin raising interest rates later this year, as the central bank shows confidence that low inflation and rising risks from abroad have yet to derail the US economic recovery.
Lots of corporate earnings kept traders busy today. Maruti ended with a gain of over 1 percent, before touching record high at Rs 3758 as brokerages continue to be positive even though its December quarter earnings did not meet street estimates. Barclays reiterates overweight and also raised target price by 11 percent to Rs 4194 per share. Macquarie maintains outperform and increased price by 23 percent to Rs 4500 per share as it expects Maruti to be a key beneficiary of revival in domestic passenger vehicle growth.
HDFC, Wipro, Reliance and ONGC were other top gainers in the Sensex.
Asian Paints also hit record high ahead of announcing its December quarter earnings as Credit Suisse upgraded it to outperform. The brokerage also raised target price to Rs 1020 from Rs 710.
Losing 2-5 percent each, Bharti Airtel, Sesa Sterlite, Tata Motors, L&T and Tata Steel were laggards in the Sensex.
Tata Motors was under pressure as it decided to seek shareholders approval for raising funds upto Rs 7500 cr via rights issue. This is to meet the company’s growth plan and reduce debt on balance sheet. Some analysts guess this could be a precursor to listing of the DVR in the American depositary receipt (ADR) market.
Ranbaxy lost around 1 percent after it posted a consolidated net loss of Rs 1,030 crore in December quarter compared to Rs 159 crore in the same quarter last year. Revenues too dipped to Rs 2618.8 crore, compared to Rs 2,893.9 crore YoY. A CNBC-TV18 poll of analysts had expected the firm to clock revenues of Rs 3,236 crore.
Meanwhile, after under-performing for many days, the midcaps out-paced the bluechips today.
Boosted by strong results and stock split announcement, Ajanta Pharma gained 13 percent. NBCC, IRB Infra, Vaibhav Global and Firstsource Solution were other midcap gainers.