Fifth day of losses for the Market
17 March 2005
Market was expected to remain weak following the down trend in global markets. The indices tried to remain sideways after the weak opening, but gave up towards the close to end with substantial losses. Sensex closed at 6670, down 77points and the Nifty at 2099, down 27 points. The Nifty futures discount to the spot index narrowed to 5 points.
Oil was on fire yesterday on the back of lower than expected inventory levels of gasoline and distillates in US. NYMEX Crude touched an all time high of $56.46 to a barrel as statements from OPEC about increasing output by 500,000 barrels per day failed to cool the market. Crude futures are quoting above the $57-mark and analysts predict $60 levels in the near future.
As can be expected US markets took a nose dive which was further worsened by lower guidance from General Motors. The Dow closed mpre than a percentage down while NASDAQ lost close to a per cent. Indian ADR's were no exception with HDFC Bank losing more than 3 per cent. Infosys and Dr. Reddy's were the only winners while ICICI Bank and Tata Motors remained flat.
European Cement major Holcim, the second largest in the world after French cement company Lafarge, received SEBI approval for its open offer for ACC. The open offer is at Rs370 per share and is expected to go through as domestic institutions led by LIC are favorably inclined to accepting the offer. The stock which rallied in the morning on hearing the news closed lower.
Markets took note of the advance tax payments by corporates as the figures would give an indication of the estimated profits. Most companies have paid higher taxes as compared to last year confirming the belief that corporate profitability will continue to remain robust. SBI and L&T were among the few who paid lower taxes.
Tata Motors signed the deal to acquire 21 per cent of Spanish bus manufacturer Hispano Carrocera. Tata Motors, which has an option to buy the balance 79 per cent, has appointed one of its directors as the chairman of the Spanish company. The Spanish company has assembling units in Spain as well as Morocco which will give Tata Motors a toehold in the West European as well as North African markets. It is already a major player in the South African market. The Indian company also plans to launch buses in the domestic market using technology from its new partner.