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Sensex, Nifty fall for 4th consecutive day; banks drag


The News International Team

The market continued its downtrend for the fourth consecutive session on Monday, dragged by banks and index heavyweights like Reliance Industries & Infosys.

Overall it was a consolidation day for the market ahead of expiry of March derivative contracts this week. The 50-share NSE Nifty managed to hold the 8550 level amid consolidation, down 20 points to 8550.90.

The 30-share BSE Sensex slipped 69.06 points to 28192.02. The broader markets underperformed benchmarks; the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices were down 0.8 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

Experts believe the current consolidation may continue in April as well.
Manish Gunwani of ICICI Prudential said 2015 will be a year of consolidation for equities but the outlook is positive from 2-3 years perspective. “We may see a couple of quarters of sedate earnings,” he added.

Jindal Steel & Power (JSPL) was the stock of the day, down more than 6 percent. The stock tanked 15 percent intraday after the government rejected bids for its Gare Palma IV 2 and 3 as well as the Tara coal blocks. Sources told CNBC-TV18 that the Delhi High Court agreed to hear company’s plea with respect to cancellation of the 3 coal block bids.

Usha Martin, on the other hand, spiked 13 percent as the government accepted bids for Brinda and Sasai coal blocks won by company. Hindalco Industries too reacted positively, up 2.8 percent after the government accepted its bids for Dumri coal block won by the company.

Sesa Sterlite recouped its losses, up 1.4 percent in late trade. The stock lost 1.8 percent intraday after the government rejected bids for BALCO’s bid for for Gare Palma IV/1. Sesa holds 51 percent stake in BALCO.

Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy Labs were also in focus after the US Federal Trade Commission passed final order on Sun Pharma-Ranbaxy merger deal. Both stock closed flat.

Tata Motors was up 0.6 percent. The company has a board meeting on March 25 to consider details terms of proposed rights issue which is of upto Rs 7,500 crore. The company will also consider a buyback of secured NCDs with face value of Rs 1,250 crore.

Power Grid Corporation of India advanced 1.5 percent. Nomura maintained its buy rating and target price of Rs 174 on the stock as the brokerage said the likely appointment of I S Jha as CMD will be positive for the company.

State-run power equipment maker BHEL dropped 3.6 percent. ICICI Bank, Reliance Industries, Infosys, HDFC Bank, SBI and Wipro lost 0.7-1.6 percent. However, NTPC topped the buying the list on Sensex, up 3 percent followed by ONGC, M&M and GAIL with 1-1.8 percent.

In the broader space, there was setback for Glenmark, which lost 4.5 percent as the Delhi High Court restrained the company from manufacturing its anti-diabetic drugs Zita and Zita Met.

Reliance Infrastructure declined nearly a percent as India Ratings downgraded the stock to A+ from AA- post the Pipavav Acquisition. It put Reliance Infra on rating watch on negative.

Spicejet gained 0.9 percent as the company today entered into settlement agreement with its lessor Wilmington Trust SP Services (Dublin) with regard to aircraft operated by the company.

Among midcaps, Venus Remedies, Onmobile Global, Geometric, Elecom Engineering, Zee Media, Havells, SPARC, Rolta and Granules gained 4-20 percent. Amtek India, MTNL, Rallis India, Shree Renuka, LIC Housing Finance, Pipavav Defence, Allahabad Bank and IVRCL were down 3.5-11 percent

The market breadth remained negative. More than two shares declined for every share advancing on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

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