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Late sell-off drags Sensex, Nifty for 5th day; IT, FMCG up


The News International Team

The market fell for the fifth consecutive session on Thursday, dragged by the late trade selling in capital goods, power, metals, oil and select banks stocks. Key indices shed more than a percent gains to close flat with a negative bias but the broader markets underperformed.

The 30-share BSE Sensex rallied 395 points intraday, before closing down 32.14 points at 28850.97. The 50-share NSE Nifty went past 8800-mark during the day, before ended the session at 8711.70, down 12 points.

The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices declined 1.3 percent each. Declining shares outnumbered advancing ones by a ratio of 1870 to 1037 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Consistent disappointment on the earnings front, especially PSU banks and the word from European Central Bank (saying it will no longer accept Greek bonds as collateral) drove the market to down in late trade.

Overall the market has been consolidating this week ahead of Delhi elections (to be held on Saturday), which could be the major factor in near term and then Union Budget (to be announced on February 28), say analysts.

Independent market expert, Ajay Bagga feels Budget could be the next trigger for the market. The market could be flat for a few weeks then might witness a pre-Budget rally and then see some sell off post that, he adds.

On the global front, European markets like Germany’s DAX, Britain’s FTSE fell 0.3 percent each (at 16 hours IST) while Asian markets (except Hang Seng) ended lower with the Shanghai and Nikkei down 1 percent each.

Stocks in Action

Private sector lender ICICI Bank was the major contributor to Sensex’s fall, down 2.5 percent and its rival SBI declined 0.8 percent. However, Axis Bank gained 1.3 percent.

HDFC Bank was up nearly a percent as it kicked off a Rs 10,000 crore share sale, with a Rs 1,500 crore QIP book launched yesterday. Sources say the QIP book saw very strong response, was subscribed over 7 times. The bank is also looking to raise Rs 7,500-8,000 crore via ADR issue. Housing finance company HDFC gained 1.3 percent.

Tata Power topped the selling list on Sensex, down 7.5 percent followed by Sesa Sterlite with 4 percent loss. ONGC dropped 3.4 percent on profit booking after seeing rally in previous two sessions on change in subsidy sharing formula.

Mahindra & Mahindra, Cipla, Maruti Suzuki, BHEL, Hindalco Industries and NTPC were down 1.5-3 percent. Tata Steel and GAIL slipped 2 percent each ahead of Q3 earnings tomorrow while ITC, HUL, Coal India and Hero Motocorp gained 0.6-1 percent.

Bharti Airtel fell 1 percent as the telecom operator delivered a tepid set of Q3 numbers as Africa performance continued to drag. CLSA downgraded Africa’s FY15-18 EBITDA by 11-13 percent.

However, TCS, Infosys and Wipro rallied 1.5-3 percent after Cognizant positively surprised the street with a revenue growth of 6.2 percent Q-o-Q and provided an encouraging guidance of 19 percent for this year. CLSA says guidance should improve investor confidence on CY15 demand health for Indian IT companies.

In the broader space, Indian Overseas Bank tanked 9 percent on posting loss of Rs 516 crore in Q3. Allahabad Bank and UCO Bank lost 3-6 percent on fall in profit in Q3. Higher provisions hurt profitability of these banks.

However, Jubilant Foodworks climbed 6.5 percent as the company surprised with same-store-sales growth of 1.9 percent during October-December quarter against negative 2.6 percent in the year-ago period.


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