Sensex extends losing streak; bears target midcaps

Key indices fell sixth day in a row Friday, shedding roughly 4 percent on a week-on-week. The mood in global markets has become edgy after the developments in Cyprus earlier this week, and back home foreign fund flows have slowed down considerably this month.

The Sensex closed at 18735.60, down 57 points over the previous close, and the Nifty shed 7 points to close at 5651.

With today's losses, the Sensex has shed 835 points in the last six sessions, and the Nifty, 258 points. The near 4 percent weekly decline is the worst in about 15 months.

Brokers expect more volatility next week, with the market open for just three trading sessions and the F&O expiry due on Thursday.

Realty and state-owned banks have been the worst performers in a week in which midcap and small cap shares took a renewed pounding.

Among frontline shares, Reliance Infra, DLF, Tata Steel, BHEL, PNB, ACC, SBI and BPCL fell 8-18 percent.

But the real carnage was in the midcap space, with shares like Manappuram Finance, HDIL, MMTC, IVRCL, Sintex, Orchid Chemicals, Delta Corp, Pantaloon and Educomp tanking 18-32 percent.

Brokers say slowing FII flows has been a key reason for the slide. In December, January and February, FIIs net purchased an average of Rs 22,000 crore worth of shares every month. In March so far, net FII purchases in equities has been less than Rs 8500 crore.

The RBI cut the benchmark repo rate by 25 basis points earlier this week, but made it clear that it had limited room for further interest rate cuts. Most analysts and economists do not expect banks to cut interest rates unless consumer price inflation shows signs of easing.

Nifty has hit a fresh low of 5631.8 for this calendar. The Sensex is all set for one of its biggest weekly loss of the calendar year 2013. The Nifty is trading perilously close to 200 DMA of 5615 and one can expect some support around that level. But if the index fails to hold that level, there could be more mayhem in store.

The Sensex is up 49 points at 18842 and the Nifty up 26 points at 5685.65. About 875 shares have advanced, 1858 shares declined, and 819 shares are unchanged.

Big cracks have opened in some of the heavyweight stocks like DLF, Ranbaxy, Tata Motors, Tata Steel. There is buying seen in stocks like Bajaj Auto, Tata Power, Jindal Steel and Hero Moto.

IDFC, Bank of Baroda, Ambuja Cements, Bajaj Auto and Reliance Infra are top gainers on the Nifty.

DLF, Ranbaxy Labs, Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors and Sun Pharma are top losers.

Banking heavyweights like ICICI Bank, State Bank of India are under pressure as the economy is not showing any clear signs of recovery. Sentiment for banks has soured in recent weeks as these stocks would be the hardest hit if the economy does not recover soon.

Tata Motors is down 2.9 percent after rising as much as 1.7 percent earlier in the session.

Fresh long positions are seen in stocks like Bank of Baroda and Ambuja Cements.

Key equity benchmarks continued to trade flat. At 13.50 PM, the Sensex was down 100 points at 18677 and the Nifty fell 23 points to 5635. About 782 shares advanced, 1885 shares declined and 855 shares remained unchanged.

Steel Authority of India (SAIL) OFS received bids for 9.4 crore shares (39.21%) till 1:35 pm. The floor price for the OFS was fixed at Rs 63 a share. It will divest nearly 6% through the offer for sale today. The stock price is flat.

Bajaj Auto was the top gainer on the Sensex, rising 3.86% followed by Hero Motocorp up 2.27%. NTPC (1.67 percent), Tata Power (1.64 percent) and Hindalco (1.42%) were the other gainers.

On the flip side, Tata Group stocks fell more than 1.5 percent. Tata Motors was the top loser on the Sensex, down 2.5% followed by TCS (1.74%) and Tata Steell (1.71%). ONGC and ICICI Bank also fell more than a percent each.

Shares of Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (TBZ) plunged 12 percent in the afternoon trade after HSBC Global Investment Funds sold 12.7 lakh shares of the jewellery retail company for about Rs 32 crore.

Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei shed 2.4 percent on concerns that Cyprus may be forced to exit the euro zone. The Nikkei ended 297.16 points lower at 12,338.53, retreating from 12,650.26 hit on Thursday, its highest intraday level since early September 2008.

Frontline shares are flat  with the Nifty trading close to 5650 levels. The Sensex was down 50.28 points at 18742.59 and the Nifty fell 4.80 points to 5653.95.

Ranbaxy (3.2 percent), Bharti (down 1.7 percent) and commodity stocks were under pressure. Other losers in the Sensex were ONGC, Tata Motors, SBI and TCS.

State-owned MMTC was witnessing selling pressure ahead of offer-for-sale issue likely in April. The share was locked at 5 percent lower circuit on Friday. The government has been deferring stake sale in MMTC on valuation differences.

Meanwhile, Bajaj Auto (up 3.6 percent), Hero MotoCorp (2.5 percent) and Tata Power (up 1.5 percent) continue to lead the indices.

Direct to home (DTH) service provider Dish TV rallied nearly 3 percent after the company said would increase pack prices by 10 percent. The price hike will be effective from April 4, 2013, the company said.

It the D-day for Jet and Etihad as the Etihad board is going to meet for final call on Jet deal.

Globally it was a muted session across most of Asia   Most Asian markets were subdued; Japan saw over 2 percent cuts was down over 2 percent as the yen strengthened. A strong yen is negative for an export-driven economy like Japan.

Final countdown for Cyprus has begun. The debt-ridden nation has time until Monday to come up with a programme to raise over 5 billion euros to clinch the European Union bailout. This deadline was set by the European Central Bank (ECB) today after the Cyprus parliament defeated a proposal to tax savings deposit.

It has been a choppy session for the market in the first half of trade. The BSE Sensex and Nifty are trading flat as traders remain cautious in the wake of political uncertainty triggered by DMK pullout from the Congress-led UPA government. Selective buying is seen in auto and banking stocks. Realty stocks are under pressure.

Asian shares are also hovering near their lowest in nearly three months on Friday. The euro is under pressure as investors grew concerns about a possible debt default by Cyprus and deteriorating economic activity in the euro zone.

Bharti Airtel is the top loser on the Sensex followed by ONGC, Tata Motors, Tata Steel and SBI. Bajaj Auto, Hero Motocorp, Tata Power, NTPC and Hindalco are top gainers.

SAIL Offer For Sale (OFS) issue opened today at a floor price of Rs 63 per share. The company received bids for 4.9 crore shares till 10.55 am.

NHPC is cracking after 19 cases of alleged corruption and irregularities in its projects were reported between 2010 and 2012.

It has been once again a volatile day. After mild consolidation, the Sensex was down 62.60 points at 18730.27, and the Nifty fell 12.20 points at 5646.55.

Auto stocks which were laggards yesterday have recovered on Friday on a CNBC-TV18 report that the Finance Ministry is likely to review the 3 percent hike in excise duty on SUVs.

Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp, HUL, NTPC and Tata Power were the biggest gainers in the Sensex.

Bharti Airtel, ONGC, SBI, Tata Steel and Infosys were among the key losers.

Realty stocks were down on reports that some builders are cutting rates. DLF (down 1.8 percent) and Oberoi Realty (down 1.6 percent) were the major losers in the realty sector.

NHPC cracked 6.4 percent after 19 cases of alleged corruption and irregularities in its projects have been reported between 2010 and 2012.

TBZ shares skid 13.6% as HSBC global investment fund has sold nearly 13 lakh shares or around 2% stake in the company at Rs 250 a share.

The Sensex is trying to consolidate around 18,800 amid lack of buying support. Midcaps continue to be the target of bears, with traders' favourites stocks like Delta Corp, Core Education, Geometric, HDIL falling 3-5% in morning trade.

Sensex rose 5 points at 18797 and the Nifty moved up 9 points at 5668.10. The breadth of the market was negative. About 630 shares advanced, 1310 shares declined, and 1612 shares remained unchanged.

IDFC, Bajaj Auto, Reliance Infra, Ambuja Cements and Hero Motocorp are top gainers on short covering.

Ranbaxy Labs, DLF, Jaiprakash Associates and HCL Tech are major losers in the Nifty. Full list

Bharti Airtel is unable to build on Thursday's gains and has slipped after a steady start. The stock is down 3 percent on concerns over the 2G excess spectrum allocation case.

MMTC shares continue to be under pressure, down 5 percent on concerns of Offer For Sale price, which is at a steep discount to current market price.

Tata Motors is up 1 percent after losing 4% yesterday on fears that the new fuel emission norms in China would hurt sales of its luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover. However, brokerage house Religare says the norms may not impact sales much and yesterday's weakness in the stock was an over reaction by the market.

M&M is holding steady, up 1 percent. Pawan Goenka confirms having spoken to Finance Minister to review excise duty hike imposed on SUVs in the Budget. He believes the auto industry's lackluster performance will not improve in the next three to four months.

SKS Microfinance shares are up 4 percent. The company is hopeful of recovering at least Rs 300 crore out of the Rs 1300 crore of loans it had written off in its Andhra Pradesh portfolio, Chief Financial Officer Dilli Raj said in an interview to CNBC-TV18 today.

Sluggish start to the session, with the Sensex and Nifty choppy in early trade.

The indices have been falling for four consecutive sessions, and buyers are still apprehensive in the absence of any positive fundamental trigger.

Sensex up 25 points at 18818, and the Nifty up 11 points at 5670.

Gautam Trivdei of Religare sees the market bouncing back, even if the pullback could be shortlived. He sees 5615 as a key support for the Nifty.

M&M up 2 percent on speculation that higher excise duty on Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) imposed in the Budget, may be reversed.

Pidilite, Dabur, Marico, Jet other key gainers at this hour, up around 2 percent each.

MMTC top loser, down 5 percent on concerns of the offer-for-sale price being at a steep discount to the market price.

SKS Microfinance up 6 percent after steep fall Thursday. But PN Vijay says while microfinance itself is a good concept, this is not the right environment to be investing in that sector.

Karun Mutha of HSBC Direct Invest is advising clients to shun the midcap space and go long on banking and IT shares. His F&O strategy is to buy Nifty 5700 call option and sell Nifty 5600 put option.

Technical analyst Sudarshan Sukhani is advising clients to focus on individual stocks and not take a call on the Nifty as it has been too volatile. He says the index is in a downtrend and even if it manages to pullback briefly, 5750 would be a difficult level to pierce on the upside.

Sukhani is bearish on ICICI Bank and is advising a short sell with a target of 980. He is bullish on SKS Microfinance and Bajaj Auto.