Indices started the day on an uncertain note before gaining modestly on positive cues from other Asian markets. They came under pressure before noon as other Asian indices shed part of their gains. Higher than expected inflation and government pressure to control cement prices affected the sentiment and pulled down the indices further.
Sensex closed with losses of 164 points at 12885 and the Nifty lost 44 points to end at 3718. Nifty March futures closed at a discount of 41 points to the spot index.
Cement stocks slipped hard after the government said cement manufacturers have agreed not to hike prices for one year. Grasim was the biggest loser and ended 7.11 per cent lower while ACC gave up 6.24 per cent. Gujarat Ambuja ended 2.48 per cent lower.
Markets continue to be sceptical of acquisitions on concerns that the acquirers may be overpaying. M&M lost 4.14 per cent after the company announced the acquisition of Punjab Tractors.
Among engineering and capital goods stocks, BHEL shed 3.53 per cent and Suzlon lost 3.11 per cent. L&T gave up 2.58 per cent.
ITC was a major loser today and ended 3.63 per cent lower
MTNL slipped hard after yesterday's rally and lost 5.26 per cent
Reliance Industries closed 1.3 per cent lower
Among other major losers, Hindalco gave up 3.02 per cent, Cipla lost 3.13 per cent and Gail India closed 2.94 per cent lower.
IPCL rallied another 3.21 per cent after yesterday's sharp surge.
Hero Honda was the best performer among index stocks with gains of 3.45 per cent
ABB sustained the up trend with a 3.11 per cent rally while Siemens gained 0.61 per cent
Among metals, Tata Steel added 1.41 per cent while Nalco gained 0.31 per cent
Sun Pharma gained 1.81 per cent and Glaxo gained 0.28 per cent
HDFC continued its rally and added 1.09 per cent
ONGC extended its gains and closed 0.5 per cent higher
Idea Cellular, part of the Aditya Birla Group, got listed on the exchanges today. Issued at Rs75 per share, the stock opened at Rs85 on the NSE and saw a high of Rs92. The stock finally closed at Rs85.7
Global markets / crude oil
US markets ended with good gains yesterday as traders became confident that the indices have bottomed out for the near term. Firm international markets helped the sentiment further and helped ease concerns about more disruptions because of Yen carry trade unwinding. Some negative data on retail sales did not have much of an impact.
The Dow gained over 0.55 per cent and the S&P 500 closed more than 0.7 per cent higher. The NASDAQ closed with gains of 0.55 per cent.
Asian markets gave up part of their early gains today and some of them ended lower. Singapore was the best performer with gains of nearly 0.7 per cent while Japan ended nearly 0.45 per cent higher.
Shanghai closed nearly 0.35 per cent higher while Malaysia added 0.15 per cent.
Indonesia lost nearly 0.4 per cent and Hong Kong closed 0.2 per cent lower. Thailand gave up 0.1 per cent while South Korea ended with marginal losses.
European markets opened higher but slipped subsequently. Major indices are trading with losses of between 0.35 per cent and 0.75 per cent each in early afternoon trades.
Crude oil prices declined modestly yesterday after two days of gains. Near month NYMEX futures ended 18 cents lower at $61.64 per barrel yesterday. The commodity is trading with modest gains in European trades today.
Large-cap news flow
- Mahindra & Mahindra has acquired a 43.3 per cent stake in Punjab Tractors at Rs360 per share. The company would come out with an open offer for an additional 20 per cent subsequently. The acquisition would strengthen the company's position as the leading domestic tractor manufacturer.
- NTPC has commissioned a 500 MW thermal power unit at its Vindhyachal project in Madhya Pradesh, taking the total installed capacity to 26,904 MW
- Indian Oil may invest Rs25,000 crore to set up a new 15 million tonnes per annum oil refinery, according to reports quoting company officials. The refinery may become operational by 2015.
- Reliance Industries is in preliminary discussions to acquire an oil refinery in Nigeria and a petrochemicals complex in the Middle East, according to unconfirmed media reports
- Domestic cement manufacturers have agreed to the government to hold cement prices at current levels for a period of one year, according to reports.
Mid-caps and small caps opened firm but came under pressure in the afternoon. The CNX Mid-Cap index ended with losses of 25 points, or 0.52 per cent, at 4656. BSE mid-cap index lost 0.35 per cent and the BSE small cap index ended with marginal gains of 0.08 per cent.
Punjab Tractors gained 2.01 per cent to Rs309 after the announcement of acquisition by M&M for Rs360 per share.
Uniply, which listed on the NSE today, ended 10.66 per cent higher.
Sunil Hitech, Oil Country Tubular, Swaraj Engines and Zicom all ended at 10 per cent upper circuits.
Global Vectra, Bombay Dyeing, TVS Shrichakra and Lumax Autotech were among the other mid-cap gainers.
Mudra Lifestyle had a very weak debut on the exchanges today. Issued at Rs90 per share, the stock opened at Rs89.9 on the NSE and saw a low of Rs62.4, before ending at Rs63.15.
Euro Ceramics, another new listing today, also declined substantially from its issue price. Issued at Rs165 per share, the stock opened at Rs150 on the NSE and saw a low of Rs115.3. The stock finally settled at Rs116.
The smaller cement stocks came under heavy selling pressure today. Mysore Cement lost 10.71 per cent while Birla Corp gave up 10.27 per cent. Shree Cement ended 8.44 per cent lower and India Cements slipped 8.26 per cent.
C&C Constructions, Orient Paper and Cinemax were the other major losers among mid-caps.
Mid-cap news flow
- GMR Infrastructure said its subsidiary which is building the Hyderabad airport has raised an additional Rs718 crore in debt to finance construction of additional facilities at the airport.
- Premier Limited said the Company Law Board has dismissed the petition filed by the government against the company and its directors.
- Birla Corp said the workers' strike at its jute unit has been called off.
- Bartronics has tied up with a privately held domestic software developer to develop solutions based on smart cards, barcodes and RFID. The company has issued 46.3 lakh convertible warrants to promoters and other investors at a price of Rs130 per share.
- City Union Bank would raise Rs20 crore from an issue of subordinated bonds.
- Jain Irrigation has allotted 30.7 lakh shares to promoters at a price of Rs155 per share.
- Flex Industries has completed its $72 million FCCB issue and the bonds would be listed in Singapore.
- Ganesh Housing is planning to merge 5 privately held entities with the company.
- The open offer for 20 per cent of Soma Textiles at Rs32 per share would open on 13 April.
- Rajvir Industries said its factory which was shut down after a fire incident has re-started operations.
- IOL Broadband may invest $100 million to roll out IPTV services, according to media reports.
- The board of Aegis Logistics would meet next week to consider investment proposals.
- The board of Jaysynth Dyestuff would meet next week to consider the acquisition of factory premises.
- GVK Power and Infra has hiked the FII investment limit to 74 per cent.
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