The News International Team
Bears prevailed on Dalal Street once again amid volatility on Thursday. The market tried to recoup some losses in the last hour of trade, but still ended in the red due to selling pressure in technology, FMCG, capital goods and healthcare stocks.
The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 133.65 points to 28666.04. The 50-share NSE Nifty managed to get back above the 8700-mark in late trade, down 43.50 points to 8706.70.
The broader markets underperformed benchmarks with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices losing 0.7 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively. The market breadth was negative as 1705 shares declined against 1101 shares advanced on the BSE.
Experts continued to believe that the market may remain rangebound. According to them, the current fall in market may be on fears of weak March quarter earnings.
Nifty may not hit 9,000 in a hurry, said Vineet Bhatnagar, managing director, Phillip Capital. He believes it will continue to face resistance at 8820-8850 levels for the moment. He sees weakness in the April contract.
Rajat Rajgarhia, MD-Institutional Equities, Motilal Oswal Securities expects disappointing fourth quarter numbers to bring down full year earnings growth for FY15 around 4-5 percent from the earlier expectations of 14-15 percent. However, for FY16 some of these headwinds could stabilise and the base would turn favourable, he said.
In earnings, IndusInd Bank reported a steady set of fourth quarter numbers. Profit rose 25 percent led by other income and asset quality improved even as loan growth remained weak. IT company Mindtree posted mixed set of earnings; profit fell 8.4 percent in Q4 while dollar revenue growth was flat but FY15 dollar revenue growth came in at 16.4 percent, exceeding NASSCOM’s estimate of 12.3 percent. IndusInd lost 1.6 percent and Mindtree slipped 2.6 percent.
Country’s largest software services exporter TCS fell 1.5 percent ahead of earnings later in the day. Infosys and Wipro were down around a percent.
Hero Motocorp topped the selling list on Sensex, down 3.8 percent as the US company Erik Buell Racing, in which it had invested USD 25 million, ceased its operations. Lupin was down 2.5 percent as brokerage Morgan Stanley sees risk to its drug Suprax (antibiotic drug) from the Aurobindo approval.
Shares of L&T, Sun Pharma, ITC, ICICI Bank, Dr Reddy’s Labs, Cipla and Sesa Sterlite were down 1-2.6 percent. Cement stocks too were under pressure; ACC, UltraTech Cement and Ambuja Cements dropped 3 percent each.
However, ONGC and Cairn India gained 3-4 percent after oil prices touched 2015 highs. Oil prices jumped 5 percent last overnight after US inventories built up more slowly than expected.
HDFC, Mahindra & Mahindra, Reliance Industries (ahead of Q4 earnings on Friday evening), SBI, Bharti Airtel, NTPC, Hindalco and GAIL gained 0.4-1.3 percent.
Global markets were mixed. Asian markets like China rallied 2.7 percent while markets like Taiwan and Korea gained around 1 percent. In Europe though, all three indices dropped 0.4-1.5 percent (at 16 hours IST).