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Sensex snaps 7-day fall; banks lead, Bharti Idea tank


The News International Team

After a choppy session of trade, the market closed flat on Friday. In fact, it was a sigh of relief for the market today after a 654-point crash on the Sensex in previous session.

Banks helped the market recover in last couple of hours of trade while telecom, pharma, FMCG and index heavyweights like Reliance & HDFC saw consistent selling pressure.

The 30-share BSE Sensex fell more than 200 points intraday, before closing up 1.06 points at 27458.64. The index was up for the first time in last eight consecutive sessions. However, the 50-share NSE Nifty ended at 8341.40, down 0.75 point after hitting a day’s low of 8269.15.

Ajay Srivastava of Dimension Consulting said domestic market was looking very weak. Valuations for Indian market have gotten out of hand and the next 12 months could be “very painful” for some parts of it, believes Srivastava.

He said that economy looked “fundamentally positive” in the wake of reforms undertaken by the government, but the steps will take time to percolate down to earnings. “Some correction has already happened. More has to happen,” he added.

After seeing more than a percent fall intraday, the broader markets also closed flat but the market breadth remained in favour of declines in the ratio of 1787 to 1075 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

For the week, the Sensex and Nifty saw third consecutive weekly fall, down 2.8 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively. Bank Nifty and BSE IT & Metal indices were down 3 percent each.

Today the Bank Nifty gained 1 percent supported by ICICI Bank (up 2.23 percent), State Bank of India (up 2.6 percent), HDFC Bank (up 0.6 percent) and Axis Bank (up 0.4 percent). Auto stocks like Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki gained 1.3-1.8 percent whereas M&M and Hero Motocorp fell over 1 percent.

Larsen & Toubro climbed 2.5 percent on getting orders worth Rs 1,711 in March and on plans to list businesses over next three years. It major Infosys rallied 2.7 percent after unlisted rival Accenture raised its revenue growth guidance for 2015 to 8-10 percent from 5-8 percent earlier. Aluminium major Hindalco Industries was also among top gainers, up 3 percent.

However, telecom stocks reeled under pressure today as even though the regulatory overhang got lifted with the conclusion of auctions, investors remained concerned about the spectrum payout impact on the companies’ balance sheets. Bharti Airtel tanked 5.8 percent and Idea Cellular lost 4.6 percent.

Idea Cellular & Yes Bank added in the Nifty 50 today while JSPL & DLF were excluded from the index.

HDFC, Reliance Industries, ITC, Wipro, Sun Pharma, HUL, BHEL, Dr Reddy’s Labs were other prominent losers, down 1-3.5 percent.

In the broader space, JSPL jumped 4.5 percent. The Delhi High court raised an eyebrow over the government’s decision to cancel coal block bids from JSPL and BALCO on Thursday calling the move unfair. The court asked the government what changed its stance on the possibility of carterlisation and also on why a re-auction has not been considered.

Meanwhile, upstream companies may not have to bear any subsidy burden for the fourth fiscal, even as the government looks to notify a lower price for gas which will come into effect from the April 1, say sources. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged families who can afford to pay the unsubsidised price of LPG cylinders to voluntarily give up on LPG subsidy.

Global markets were mixed today. Oil prices headed southward once again as concerns over closure of a key oil shipping route near Yemen eased. Brent crude fell more than a percent to USD 58.5 a barrel and NYMEX dropped nearly two percent to USD 50.5 a barrel.

Goldman Sachs in its note today said that the strikes in Yemen would have little effect on oil supplies. Yemen is only a small crude exporter and tankers could avoid passing its waters to reach their ports of destination.

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