Monday, the benchmark for the Indian market Sensex closed a volatile session modestly up, led by strong gains in the banking and capital goods sectors. While the Sensex closed at 11,372, up 43 points or 0.38% over the previous close, the S&P CNX Nifty fell 11 points or 0.31% to 3,470.
Select healthcare stocks such as Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Cipla, Glenmark Pharma and Pfizer also showed notable gains, but IT and defensive FMCG stocks ended mixed. On the other hand, consumer durable and realty stocks came under significant selling pressure.
Volatility ruled the roost as traders rolled over their positions ahead of the April series derivatives contract on Wednesday. While stock-specific buying amid earnings announcements for the March quarter and short covering pushed the indexes higher during the day, profit taking, a mixed trend in the Asian markets and fears of a global flu pandemic after an outbreak of swine flu in Mexico, led to a choppy trading.
After making a gap-down opening at 11,237, the BSE Sensex saw a sharp come back in the afternoon, when it rose to a high of 11,492. Subsequently, the benchmark pared all its gains but recovered again towards the close of trading.
On the BSE, the market breadth was slightly negative due to profit taking in second-line stocks. Decliners outnumbered advancers by 1341 to 1158. The broad-based BSE 50 index slipped 0.08%, the mid-cap index moved down 0.44% and the small-cap index shed 1.01%.
Among the major gainers, ICICI Bank surged up 8.20%, Sterlite Industries jumped 4.39%, Wipro rallied 4.12% and TCS advanced 3.58%. Jaiprakash Associates, Sun Pharma, Larsen & Toubro, BHEL, ITC and DLF are the other prominent gainers.
On the other hand, Ranbaxy tumbled 4.61%, Reliance Infrastructure fell 3.90%, Reliance Communication lost 3.75% and Hindustan Unilever shed 3.0%. ACC, Tata Steel, Hindalco, Tata Power, State Bank of India and Tata Motors also ended sharply lower.
Banks outperformed the broader market on hopes about an early recovery in economic growth. Among the major gainers in this space, ICICI Bank surged up 8.20%, Federal Bank rallied 5.54%, Axis Bank jumped 5.45%, Allahabad Bank advanced 3.46% and Bank of Baroda added 2.89%. However, Indian Bank fell nearly 4% and Oriental Bank of Commerce slipped 0.41% despite reporting strong results for the March quarter.
Petronet LNG fell 1.89% even as its net profit grew 70.24% year-over-year for the March quarter Jaiprakash Associates rose 3.58% on reporting an 83% increase in net profit for the fourth quarter ended March.
Sterlite Technologies jumped 4.39% on posting robust quarterly performance, while auto components maker Bosch and MIC Electronics fell around 2.2% each after they have reported disappointing results for the three months ended March.
Cipla rose 1.82% on reports that the company could supply 1.5 m doses of Tamiflu, a drug used to treat swine flu, if needed. Ranbaxy Laboratories tumbled 4.61% after posting a huge quarterly loss. The company also forecast a second year of losses in 2009.
IT stocks closed mixed amid reports that the industry could see up to 3-5 percent non-voluntary exits or more than one lakh job cuts in the first two quarters of the financial year mainly in senior and middle levels. While Wipro, TCS and HCL ended in positive terrain, Mphasis, Tech Mahindra, Infosys and Financial Technologies ended in the red.
Ashapura Minechem tumbled nearly 5% after the company disclosed that Ashapura Industrial Finance, a promoter group company, has acquired 87,000 equity shares of the company from the open market on April 21, 2009.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals ended up 0.58% after its subsidiary Glenmark Generics received a tentative approval from the US Food & Drug Administration for the 10 mg tablets of cholesterol-lowering agent Ezetimibe.
Coromandel Fertilizers advanced 3.52% on reports that it will set up a set up a 15,000- tonne water-soluble fertilizer-making unit at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. Escorts fell 1.52% after the company proposed to merge its wholly owned subsidiary, Escorts Agri Machinery Inc (USA) with itself.
Ballarpur Industries lost nearly 5% on reporting a 12% fall in its net profit for the March quarter year-over-year. In another development, the company's board has decided to buyback zero coupon convertible bonds worth $60 million.
Jet Airways closed down 1.08% on reports that it is seeking assistance from financial institutions, the US Exim Bank and European export credit agencies, to reschedule a $2 billion loan that was raised to buy 27 Boeing and eight Airbus aircrafts.
IDBI Bank tumbled nearly 5% after the bank decided to set up & enter into the mutual fund business either as a wholly owned subsidiary or as a joint venture.
ICICI Bank topped the value chart with a turnover of Rs.366.67crore followed by Reliance Capital (Rs.208.85 crore), Jaiprakash Associates (Rs.198.91 crore), Reliance (Rs. 195.64 crore) and Indiabulls Realestate (Rs. 175.95 crore).
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