The local market opened almost flat as its Asian peers drifted lower in morning trade. A sell-off in realty and consumer durables stocks, after recent appreciable gains, was the main cause of the market ending unchanged today.
The market opened almost unchanged from its previous close, as Asian markets were under slight pressure. Realty, consumer durables and banking stocks pushed the market sharply lower. The indices, which witnessed a high degree of choppiness in the morning session, fell sharply lower in post-noon trade on selling pressures and a negative opening in most European markets. The market settled flat with a negative bias, ending its four-day winning streak.
The Sensex was down 25.77 points (0.13%) at 19,966.93. The barometer touched a high of 20,067.81 and a low of 19,877.12 during the session. The Nifty ended the session at 18.90 points (0.31%) lower at 5,992.80. The index swung between a high-low of 6,025.40 and 5,964.25, intraday.
The market breadth tilted towards the losers. The Sensex had 17 declining stocks while 13 stocks ended in the positive zone. The 50-share Nifty list closed with 27 stocks in the red while 23 stocks settled higher. The broader indices, which led the recent gains, bore the brunt of today's sell-off. The BSE Mid-cap index tumbled 2.30% and the BSE Small-cap index tanked 3%.
The top gainers on the Sensex were Hero Honda (up 2.47%), Cipla (up 1.76%), Jindal Steel (up 1.53%), Mahindra & Mahindra (up 1.19%) and Hindustan Unilever (up 1.10%). The laggards in today's trade were DLF (down 4.53%), Reliance Infrastructure (down 4.29%), Jaiprakash Associates (down 4.27%), Sterlite Industries (down 2.39%) and ACC (down 2%).
BSE IT (up 0.66%), BSE Auto (up 0.30%) and BSE TECk (up 0.29%) were the notable sectoral gainers. On the other hand, BSE Realty (down 4.29%), BSE Consumer Durables (down 3.63%) and BSE Metal (down 1.25%) were the top sectoral losers.
The Asian pack ended the last trading day of the week on a mixed note as investors were nervous ahead of the US jobs data, due to be released later today. However, the European Central Bank's move to continue supporting banks came as a relief to marketmen.
The Shanghai Composite was down 0.04%, the Hang Seng lost 0.55%, the KLSE Composite shed 0.15% and the Straits Times gave up 0.80%. On the other hand, the Jakarta Composite added 0.05%, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.10%, the Seoul Composite gained 0.36% and the Taiwan Weighted was up 0.45% at close of trade.
The government late Thursday said it is "actively considering" a request from the tobacco industry to increase the duration of display of a particular pictorial warning in cigarette packets.
There are two existing pictorial warnings like scorpion and damaged lungs while a new and stricter one-a cancer-stricken mouth-was to be depicted from 1st December. Such warnings are to be rotated every year.
Tobacco companies, which were under an impression that the timeline for 'mouth cancer' warning would get pushed back, had made representations to the health ministry seeking clarity on the matter.
The US markets settled in positive territory for the second day in a row as positive data kept pouring in. Pending sales of US existing houses jumped by a record 10% in October, which followed a 1.8% drop in September, the National Association of Realtors said. The number of applications for jobless benefits averaged 4,31,000 a week, over the month ended 27th November, the lowest level since August 2008, according to Labor Department figures. Retail sales at chain stores rose 6% in November, above the estimated growth of 3.6% and the year-ago gain of 0.6%.
The Dow surged 106.63 points (0.95%) to 11,362.41. The S&P 500 added 15.46 points (1.28%) to 1,221.53. The Nasdaq rose 29.92 points (1.17%) to 2,579.35.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of equities worth Rs386.12 crore on Thursday. Domestic institutional investors were net sellers of stocks worth Rs225.04 crore on the same day.
Market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Thursday barred four companies-Murli Industries, Ackruti City, Welspun Gujarat Stahl Rohren and Brushman India-and their respective promoters from trading on the bourses for allegedly indulging in unfair trading practices.
The market watchdog has also barred one Sanjay Dangi and his group firms from dealing with any kind of securities. This ban has been imposed on charges of share price manipulation.
Following the development, Murli Industries ended 19.94% lower, Ackruti City tanked 19.99% and Brushman India declined 4.96%.
The country's largest realty firm DLF (down 4.53%) has sold 150 plots, garnering more than Rs 500 crore, in a township project at Gurgaon, sources said. DLF launched yesterday a 100-acre township 'Alameda' in Gurgaon.
In the first phase, it released 150 plots at Rs 60,000 a sq yard with inaugural discount of 10% and they were sold within a few hours of the launch, sources said. The plots are available in two sizes-540 and 700 sq yards.
Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL) (down 2.11%) has informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that it has acquired 100% stake in Naturesse Consumer Care Products Ltd and Essence Consumer Care Products Ltd from Muskan Projects Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed amount.
Naturesse Consumer and Essence Consumer own the brands Swastik and Genteel, respectively.
With the acquisition of these brands, GCPL has strengthened its position in the ever-growing Indian personal and household care segment.
As the small English language television channel segment gets more fragmented, it will be a long time before any of the numerous players turn profitable
It's a long list of competitors that are slugging it out in the general entertainment channels segment; and one more name just got added to it.
BIG CBS Prime, the first channel launch from the BIG CBS Network, went on air on Monday. Two more, BIG CBS Love and BIG CBS Spark are to follow soon. BIG CBS is a joint venture between Reliance Broadcast Network (RBNL) and CBS Studios International.
RBNL said in statement on Monday that the channels would reach 20 million households through alliances with multi-service operators such as Reliance BIG TV, Digicable, Den Networks, Hathway and others. The entry of three new channels in the segment will in all likelihood fragment the business further and inflict further losses on existing players that are already struggling, and make it very difficult for the newcomer. Interestingly, BIG-CBS claims that it will break even by 2013.
It must be pointed out that all GEC channels are either losing money or making profits only in fits and starts. The English entertainment channels garner a viewership share of only 0.13% (slightly better in the metros at 0.17%), and even when AXN, Star World and Zee Café are taken together, their ad revenue is not more than any of the second-rate Hindi channels-about Rs 100 crore.
BIG-CBS suggests that it has an edge on costs as it will be able to source content from CBS at a much reduced rate, RBNL chief Tarun Katial said. Moreover, it has Reliance Big also to take care of distribution. So, while most other English entertainment channels may take longer to start recovering costs, BIG-CBS may start doing so sooner.
But will it? In India, any English channel is a niche experience, and with the target audience hooked to 'Friends', 'How I Met Your Mother' and 'Scrubs', it would be difficult to establish any sort of a foothold. A mass following is very unlikely, as the channels will be available exclusively through BIG TV and its associates, who make up a small part of the market. With cable, Tata Sky and Dish TV subscribers left out, it is unlikely to go boom.
Experts say that the company has modest expectations and that it is on the right track. Nikhil Vora, a financial analyst, says, "Of course, a 20 million viewership is pretty restricted and advertisement revenues will be limited too. But the venture is banking on the premium payability potential of it audience. Yes, it is targeting a niche audience, but these viewers will pay to watch it." Is three years an adequate time then? It would still depend on the amount of capital the company is willing to burn, Mr Vora says. But since it is a long-term venture, it will be foolish to look for immediate gains.
CBS is the most-watched network in the US. But it is to be seen whether some of its very popular programmes like 'The Late Show With David Letterman' and good old 'Frasier' will hook desi couch potatoes.
Hinduja group flagship company Ashok Leyland Ltd announced a 179% rise in exports for November, selling 1,252 units during the period.
It had sold 449 units during the corresponding period last year, the company said in a statement said.
However, the domestic sales during the month dipped by 8% from 4,237 units in 2009 to 3,885 units.
The total cumulative sales between April and November 2010 were up by 78% from 32,009 to 56,858 units, the statement added.
The total sales (domestic and exports) stood at 5,137 units in November registering an increase of 10% over the corresponding month of previous year.
The Chennai-headquartered commercial vehicle maker reported combined sales of 4,686 units in the same month last year, Ashok Leyland said in a statement here.
On Friday, Ashok Leyland ended 2.94% down at Rs72.60 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex declined 0.13% to 19,966.93 points.