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Pressure mounts on Sensex, Nifty; Hindalco, NTPC add 1-3%


The News International Team

03:00pm Market Update: The market extended losses in last hour of trade. The Sensex is down 208.77 points at 28457.27 and the Nifty down 89.90 points at 8616.80. About 1165 shares have advanced, 1559 shares declined, and 195 shares are unchanged on the BSE.
Shares of TCS and Sun Pharma tanked more than 4 percent followed by Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel and Wipro with 2-3 percent loss. HDFC Bank, Infosys, Tata Motors and ICICI Bank slipped 0.6-1 percent.

However, metals stocks continued to shine with the Tata Steel, Sesa Sterlite and Hindalco Industries rising 2-3 percent.

02:50pm CRISIL Earnings: Rating agency CRISIL’s first quarter consolidated net profit declined 20.4 percent sequentially to Rs 56.3 crore, impacted by lower revenue and weak operational performance.

Net sales during the quarter fell 5.8 percent to Rs 307.2 crore from Rs 326.3 crore in previous quarter. “Rating revenues were mainly impacted by reduced budgetary support from Government of India for the NSIC-Performance & Credit Rating Scheme for small and medium enterprises,” said the company.

CRISIL expects the ratings business to benefit from improvement in the investment climate, pick up in credit growth and decline in interest rates over the coming months.

Consolidated operating profit (EBITDA) slipped 15.8 percent quarter-on-quarter to Rs 86 crore and margin declined 330 basis points to 28 percent in the quarter gone by.

02:30pm Investments in India: Flagging off “developing challenges” from the ground, global rating agency Standard and Poor’s today said a policy logjam and “red tape” have hindered investments in India.

The rating agency, which conducted a “big data” study of three major emerging Asia economies “from the ground up”, said that India has a different scenario where corporate earnings have plateaued but debt has continued to rise and investments have slumped. “We believe policy gridlock and administrative red tape have hindered investment.

The challenge now is to unlock the earnings potential of existing assets,” S&P said. The comments come within a week of S&P cautioning that fiscal weakness continue to make India’s sovereign credit profile vulnerable. S&P has lowest grade investment rating BBB-, just a notch above the junk grade, on India with a stable outlook.

However, another major rating agency Moody’s last week upgraded its outlook on the sovereign to positive from stable and said there was a possibility of a rating upgrade from BBB- in 12-18 months.

02:00pm Market Check

The market refuses to budge ahead. The Sensex is down 127.80 points at 28538.24 and the Nifty is down 68.55 points at 8638.15. About 1256 shares have advanced, 1432 shares declined, and 175 shares are unchanged.

Tata Steel, Sesa Sterlite, Hindalco, BHEL and NTPC are top gainers while TCS, Sun Pharma, Axis Bank, Wipro and Bharti Airtel are among laggards in the Sensex.

Gold firmed near USD 1,200 an ounce but the metal was headed for its second straight weekly drop, weighed down by uncertainty over the timing of an interest rate increase by the US Federal Reserve.

Expectations that the US central bank would start raising rates in June have been reassessed after recent sluggishness in US economic data and many are now betting that policy will not be tightened until September

Strong data could still prompt the US central bank to raise rates sooner, which would dent demand for bullion, and the uncertainty has led to caution in bullion markets.

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