After a gap-up opening once again, frontline Indian indices once again gave up their gains to end flat. However, the markets had slipped deep into the red before ending flat with the Sensex losing nearly 200 points from the session's peak while the Nifty erased more than 50 points from the day's high.
The fall today could be attributed to the fact that the Index of Industrial Production data for June showed a contraction of 1.8% against the expectation of a marginal increase in production activity.
The data was actually due on Friday but came as a surprise to the markets on Thursday itself.
India's industrial production unexpectedly contracted in the month of June, undermined by dwindling investments in a sharply slowing economy, government data showed today.
Meanwhile, Asian markets ended mostly higher after inflation data from China fell to a 30-month low in July, stoking hopes of further monetary easing by the central bank as it looks to avoid a hard landing amid lingering concern about the ongoing eurozone debt crisis. Hopes of action by other world central banks also aided sentiment.
Equity benchmarks in Japan and Hong Kong rose by ~1% each while that in China was up 0.6%. The Kospi in South Korea was up ~2% while the Taiex in Taiwan advanced 1.5%.
Markets in Singapore and Australia closed lower.
The expectation of easing by central banks post China’s encouraging data also lifted European stocks.
London’s FTSE was tad down 0.1%, France’s CAC was trading down 0.3% and Germany’s DAX was lower by 0.7% ahead of the US jobs report and after a positive start.
BSE Sensex: 17,560 down 0.2%
NSE Nifty: 5,322 down 0.3%
Among the sectoral indices, FMCG was the only index with gains above 1% at 1.4%. It was followed by Metals, Auto, Power and Capital Goods. On the other hand, Oil&Gas was the only index with losses of 1%. It was followed by Teck, Bankex, PSU, Consumer Durables and Realty. IT and Pharma closed nearly unchanged.
Among the broader markets, losses on the BSE Small-Cap index were slightly higher at 0.4%. The BSE Mid-Cap index fared almost in line with the Sensex and ended down 0.26%.
M&M, Sterlite Inds, HUL, Tata Power, Coal India, Sesa Goa, Grasim Inds, IDFC and ITC were the leading gainers on the Sensex and the Nifty.
Bharti Airtel, SBI, HDFC, BPCL, Ranbaxy Labs, Cairn India and Bank of Baroda were the declining stocks on both indices.
On the BSE-500, HEG, Ess Dee Aluminium, SKS Microfinance, Bajaj Finserv and Apollo Tyres were the top gainers while MVL, Amtek Auto, Aurobindo Pharma, Bharti Airtel, Pantaloon Retail, United Breweries Holdings and Idea Cellular were the top losers.
Abbott India climbed 2% to Rs.1,541.45 after the company’s 2Q net income spiked 73% on year to Rs.295mn.
Coal India gained 2% to close at Rs.352.45 on reports that the Maharatna would boost supply by 8.8% in financial year 2012-13.
Power Finance Corporation advanced 3% to Rs.191 after the company’s 1Q profit rose 42% on year to Rs.9.72bn, beating analyst estimates of Rs.8.58bn. Also, the company was in talks with Tata Capital for a venture.
Tata Motors declined 0.9% to Rs.239.35 after its 1Q net income came in at Rs.22.45bn trailing estimates of Rs.27.3bn.
Tourism Finance Corporation gained 1.1% to finish at Rs.23.20 after its 1Q profit climbed 51% YoY to Rs.121.3mn.
Bharti Airtel slumped 6.4% to Rs.256.85 after banks such as Standard Chartered and Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock post its disappointing 1Q results. Also, reports stated that Bharti Wal-Mart Bharti Walmart has scrapped its plans to start online operations. The joint venture was reluctant to start an electronic-commerce venture in the country, reports added.
Cairn India lost 1.9% after MD and CEO Rahul Dhir quits “to pursue his entrepreneurial interests”. The outgoing CEO said that the oil major sought to buy oil assets globally.
Indian Hotels slipped 2% to Rs.59.70 after the company’s 1Q profit came in at Rs.40.3m, down from Rs.213mn in the same period a year ago.
Pantaloon Retail slumped 5.25% after its 4Q group profit slipped to Rs.227.1mn from Rs.1.01bn in the same quarter a year ago.
United Breweries Holdings tumbled 5.2% to Rs.86.45 after its 1Q profit came in at Rs.13.2mn versus Rs.18.8mn in the year ago period.