Wednesday, the Indian market came off its day's high and finished modestly lower for the day. While favorable cues from Wall Street helped the market surge higher in early trading, the market pared all its gains in the afternoon, weighed down by a mixed trend in the Asian markets and lower US index futures. Short covering, heavy build-up of shorts and unwinding of long positions led to significant volatility for the third day in a row.
The BSE Sensex opened higher at 10,969 and rose to a high of 11,036 in early trading before tumbling to the day's low of 10,716. However, the Sensex cut most of its losses in late trading and finished at 10,818, down 81 points or 0.74% over the previous close. Likewise, the S&P CNX Nifty moved down 35 points or 1.04% to 3,330.
Second-line stocks also moved in line with the benchmarks. The broad-based BSE 500 index fell 0.94%, the mid-cap index moved down 1.15% and the small-cap index shed 1.62%. On the BSE, the market breadth was negative, with decliners outnumbering advancers by 1443 to 1064. Sector-wise, while realty, consumer durable and capital goods stocks bore the brunt of the selling, defensive FMCG and the IT sector closed in positive territory.
Among the major losers, Maruti Suzuki slumped 4.45%, DLF tumbled 4.30%, Sterlite Industries fell 3.87%, BHEL drifted down 3.55% and Tata Power moved down 3.29%. Sun Pharma, Larsen & Tourbo and Mahindra & Mahindra fell over 3% each. Twenty-three out of 30 Sensex stocks ended in the red.
ACC rallied 5.26% after its net profit for the March quarter grew 23.1% to Rs.399.34 crore from Rs.324.31 crore in the same quarter last year. Other cement stocks such as Madras Cement, Ambuja Cement, Binani, JK and India Cement also showed notable gains.
Engineering equipment supplier BGR Energy pared its early gains and ended down 0.78% after it has bagged a contract worth Rs.15.5 crore from Maithon Power at Jharkhand for engineering related works.
Piramal Healthcare closed up 0.12% on reports that it is eyeing 2-3 acquisitions in advanced markets like the U.S. and Europe. Reliance Industries edged up 0.59% ahead of its earnings announcement on Thursday. Other oil-explorers ONGC and Cairn India, however, ended in the red.
State-run Gail India lost 2.26% amid reports that it will invest Rs.8, 000 crore in laying a gas pipeline from Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh to Vijaipur in Madhya Pradesh for transporting gas from the east coast to consumers in central and north India.
Steel maker JSW Steel moved down 0.81% on reports that it will invest Rs.3, 000 crore in its projects in Vijaynagar and upcoming projects in Jharkhand and West Bengal in the current financial year.
Esab India rose 3.04% after its board accorded an in- principle approval for a merger with ESAB Engineering Services, Chennai, in which Exelvia Holdings BV holds a 75.1% stake and Esab India holds the balance of equity. For the quarter ended March, Esab's net profit rose nearly 6% year-over-year.
Marico jumped 5.34% after its consolidated net profit for the March quarter rose 9% to Rs.44.40 crore year-over-year. Other prominent stocks in the FMCG sector like Ruchi Soya, ITC, Colgate Palmolive and Tata Tea also ended firm.
Non-banking finance company Dewan Housing Finance Corporation advanced 4.55% after Wadhawan Holdings, a promoter group entity hiked its stake in the company by 2.01% to 7.59%. Supreme Petrochem surged up 7.34% after its net profit jumped more than 4 times to Rs. 34.19 crore in the March quarter compared to the same quarter last year.
Several prominent stocks declined sharply after the National Stock Exchange, as part of its regular review, announced the exclusion of 50 stocks from the derivatives segment.
Among the major decliners, 3i Infotech, UTV Software and Gitanjali Gems plunged more than 10% each.
Reliance topped the traded value with a turnover of Rs.254.15 crore followed by Reliance Capital (Rs.215.06 crore), Reliance Infrastructure (Rs.156 crore), Unitech (148.78 crore) and HDIL (144.06 crore)
Unitech topped the traded volume with trades of nearly three crore shares followed by IFCI (2.58 crore), Suzlon (2.34 crore), Reliance Natural Resources (1.79 crore) and Ispat Industries (1.09 crore).
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