Nifty ends below 5900; banks, realty stocks take a breather

Key equity benchmarks ended down Friday, with the market ignoring good earnings numbers from frontline companies like Maruti Suzuki, Hero Motocorp and ICICI Bank.

Brokers attributed the weakness to profit booking, as the market had risen around 6 percent over the last fortnight.

The Sensex closed at 19286.72 down 120 points and the Nifty ended at 5871.45 down 45 points.

Over the last couple sessions, there have been more positive surprises than negative ones. However, the market appears to have priced in much of the good news, and gains have been restricted to stocks of companies delivering on the numbers.

Shares of LIC Housing Finance, Maruti Suzuki and Idea Cellular were among the best performers of the day, rising 5-6 percent on strong fourth quarter numbers.

Hero Motocorp's quarterly net profit declined 5 percent, but the drop was lower than what analysts were expecting.

The next key trigger for the market is the RBI policy review on May 3. It is widely expected that the central bank will cut interest rates by 25 basis points, as inflation is showing signs of cooling down.

Bharti Airtel, Bajaj Auto, GAIL and Larsen & Toubro were the big gainers in the Nifty. HCL Tech, Jindal Steel, Reliance Industries, Jaiprakash Associates and HUL figured among the losers.

Key gainers in the midcap space included Welspun Corp, Sobha Developer, United Phosphorous, Blue Dart, TTK Prestige ended.

Shares of Delta Corp were hammered 10 percent after the company reported a net loss in its fourth quarter and a decline in revenues. Trading in the stock was frozen after there were only sellers. Unitech, HDIL, Persistent and Punj Lloyd were the other big losers.

The market drifted lower as Nifty struggled below 5900 on account of weakness in bank, oil and gas, technology and realty stocks.

The Sensex slipped 129.87 points to 19276.98, and the Nifty fell 48.35 points at 5867.95.

ICICI Bank fell 3.6 percent soon after it announced January-March quarter earnings. The private sector lender's net profit grew 21 percent year-on-year to Rs 2,304 crore (in line with estimates) in the fourth quarter of FY13. Net interest income rose by 22.5 percent to Rs 3,803 from Rs 3,105 crore during the same period.

Jindal Steel, Reliance, HUL and TCS were the biggest losers of the day.

Meanwhile, strong fourth quarter earnings boosted Maruti; the stock rose 4.7 percent. The largest passenger car maker's fourth quarter standalone net profit accelerated significantly better-than-expected 80 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,148 crore, sending its stock surging to a new 52-week high of Rs 1,693 on NSE.

Bharti Airtel too gained 4.6 percent while other big movers of the day were Bajaj Auto, GAIL and HDFC.

Key equity benchmarks were trading weak in the afternoon trade on the first day of the new derivatives expiry. Selling pressure picked up after European markets opened in red.

The gains of about 6.4 percent in benchmark index in the last two weeks as of Thursday's close, suggested the market has already discounted a rate cut and current levels were widely used to lighten up positions ahead of the RBI policy on May 3.

The Sensex was down 64 points at 19342 and the Nifty was down 27 points at 5889. About 851 shares advanced, 1279 shares declined, and 1540 shares remain unchanged.

Heavy selling was seen in rate sensitive stocks. Banks and realty stocks were star performers in the last fortnight after rate cut hopes picked up pace in the upcoming monetary policy on May 3. IT stocks continued theie downward journey on concerns of slowdown.

''The Nifty has completed a five-wave decline on the daily chart and is expected to bounce till the previous swing high, ie 5970. The short-term bias remains positive for a target of 5970 with reversal around 5630,'' said the Sharekhan note to clients.

Country's largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki's fourth quarter net profit jumped 79.7 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,150 crore, pushing stock to new 52-week high of Rs 1,658.

Revenues rose by 11.3 percent to Rs 13,056 crore in January-March quarter FY13 from Rs 11,727 crore in a year ago period.

ICICI Bank falls 1.4 percent ahead of its Jan-March earnings later in the day.

Consumer goods stocks ITC and Hindustan Unilever were down on concerns about valuations and volume growth.

Shares in Jindal Steel & Power fall 1.4 percent after it said on Thursday its March-quarter consolidated net profit fell 34.88 percent to Rs 760 crore.

Idea Cellular gained 8 percent after Jan-March earnings beat estimates on Thursday, due to strong customer additions and a court decision that removed some smaller competitors from the market.

The market continued its southward journey, pulled down by weakness in technology and banking stocks. The Sensex is down 78.14 points or 0.40% at 19328.71, and the Nifty down 32.50 points or 0.55% at 5883.80.

M&M, Jindal Steel, TCS, Hero Motocorp and Sun Pharma were biggest losers in the index.

TCS was under pressure as a result of labour troubles in Europe. According to CNBC-TV18 reports, staff in two centers across Finland has walked out. TCS says that talks are on with Finland staff representatives, which may conclude in six weeks.

Among the midcaps, Biocon (down 3.4 percent), Delta Corp (9.5 percent), Dena Bank and (down 2 percent) dragged during the day.

Jet Airways succumbed to profit taking after 11 percent run yesterday while M&M Financial and United Phosphorous continued to rally.

Lead gainers in the Sensex were Bharti Airtel, Bajaj Auto, GAIL, Coal India and HDFC.

Commodities bounced back as brent moved above USD 103. Gold was at a 10-day high on weak dollar and physical buying.  The rupee was mildly higher following the general rise in risk appetite globally and the slight dip in the dollar index. However buying by oil companies was limiting the rupee's gains.

The Nifty was trading soft on the first day of the new derivatives expiry. Profit booking by the traders dragged Nifty below 5900 after the benchmark index rallied close to 350 points in the last seven trading sessions.

Banks, IT and pharma stocks were major laggards today. Realty stocks were on buyer's radar today.

The Sensex was down 71 points at 19335 and the Nifty was down 29 points at 5887. The breadth of the market was neutral. About 804 shares have advanced, 779 shares declined, and 2087 shares remain unchanged.

Bharti Airtel, Asian Paints, GAIL, DLF and Tata Power were top gainers in the Nifty. Jindal Steel, HCL Tech, Sun Pharma, ICICI Bank and TCS are top losers.

Idea touched 52-week high after the company reported strong earnings yesterday. Revenues were up 8.6 percent at Rs 6061.4 crore while margins improved to 27.6 percent. Citi has a buy rating on the stock with a target price of Rs 133.

JSPL was down 2 percent post disappointing earnings. Revenues were up just 2 percent at Rs 5583 crore while margins dipped to 27.3 percent.

On April 25, ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala promoted Rare Enterprises bought 50 lakh shares of Alok Industries at Rs 10.24 on the NSE. The stock was up 1 percent. 

Delta Corp was down 9 percent post earnings. Net sales were down at Rs 56.1 crore compared to Rs 78 crore. The company has posted a net loss of Rs 10.4 crore.

Rollover stats by Sharekhan

The Nifty May month rollover stands at 66.78% verusus April month rollover at 53.26%. The market-wide rollover was 80.77 percent versus 78.26 percent in the last month.

The strongest rollover was seen in the hotel, infrastructure and fertiliser stocks. IT, telecommunications and FMCG stocks witnessed poor rollover in the next series.

Benchmark indices were slightly down in the first hour of trade. Brokers said Thursday's rally had largely to do with squaring up of positions because of derivatives expiry and that buyers are cautious at higher levels . The Sensex was down 40.01 points at 19366.84 while the Nifty was down16.55 points at 5899.75.

Top gainers in the Sensex were Bharti Airtel, HDFC, Tata Steel, Bajaj Auto and Cipla. Losers included Hero Motocorp, Jindal Steel, M&M, SBI and TCS.

Idea Cellular shares were up around 5 percent after the company reported strong fourth quarter numbers. The telecom operator's consolidated net profit grew by 34.7 percent quarter-on-quarter to Rs 308 crore in March quarter, helped by strong subscriber additions.

Biocon shares were down around 3 percent on quarterly numbers, while Delta Corp shares were down 9 percent after reporting a loss in the fourth quarter.

Jet shares were down around 3 percent after rallying over 10 percent on Thursday following the deal with Etihad. Brokers say the stock is fairly priced at current levels.

ICICI Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Maruti Suzuki, Siemens, Sterlite Tech, LIC Housing Finance, Castrol India, Vijaya Bank, India Bulls Power will announce March quarter earnings today.