Monday Closing Report: Watch the dollar for short-term weakness

The festive euphoria last week, which saw the Indian market touching fresh closing highs on Thursday and in the brief 'Mahurat' trading session on Friday, marking the beginning of the Hindu accounting year, ended today as the key benchmarks ended lower today.

The market opened in the green this morning riding on last week's festive euphoria. However, investors took the opportunity to book profits at higher levels, dragging the key indices into the red in morning trade. The market fell to the day's lows in the afternoon session and traded in a narrow range after making a feeble recovery attempt. It ended marginally above the low point of the day but below the levels seen late last week.

The Sensex closed 152.58 points (0.73%) lower at 20,852, below its new all-time closing high of 21,005 on Friday. The index touched an intraday high of 21,075 and a low of 20,822 today. The Nifty settled at 6,273, down 39.25 points (0.62%), below its all-time closing high of 6,312 achieved on Friday. The benchmark swung between a high-low of 6,336 and 6,265, respectively.

The market breadth favoured declining stocks today. The Sensex had 21 losers against nine in the advancing list while the Nifty closed with 32 stocks in the red and 18 gainers. The broader indices ended mixed; the BSE Mid-cap index was down 0.08% while the BSE Small-cap index added 0.08%.

Today's top Sensex gainers were led by Jaiprakash Associates (up 3.25%), Sterlite Industries (up 2.62%), ACC (up 2.41%), Tata Motors (up 1.80%) and Tata Steel (up 1.46%). The laggards were HDFC Bank (down 2.24%), ONGC (down 2.22%), State Bank of India (down 1.92%), Infosys Technologies (down 1.82%) and Mahindra & Mahindra (down 1.81%).

BSE Healthcare (up 0.65%), BSE Realty (up 0.37%) and BSE Metal (up 0.34%) were the gainers in the sectoral space. The sectoral losers included BSE IT (down 1.54%), BSE TECk (down 1.33%), BSE PSU (down 1.23%), BSE Consumer Durables (down 1.22%) and BSE Bankex (down 1.16%).

Markets in Asia closed mostly higher despite renewed concerns over Greece and Ireland's sovereign debt issues. The development impacted financial stocks in the region while exporters got a boost from the upbeat US jobs data released on Friday.

The Shanghai Composite settled 0.96% higher, the Hang Seng gained 0.35%, Jakarta Composite surged 1.20%, KLSE Composite rose 0.54%, Nikkei 225 advanced 1.11%, Straits Times jumped 1.85% and Seoul Composite gained 0.18%. On the other hand, Taiwan Weighted lost 0.22% today.

India today asserted that it was not in the business of "stealing" American jobs, even as US president Barack Obama said that deals with India to create 50,000 jobs back home were aimed at assuaging citizens' fears.

"India is not in the business of stealing jobs from the US... outsourcing (work to India) has helped improve the productive capacity and productivity of America," prime minister Manmohan Singh said at a joint press conference with visiting US president Barack Obama at Hyderabad House in New Delhi.

The US markets closed in the green on Friday. The indices witnessed a flat ending after the Labor Department report showed that employers added 151,000 jobs last month, the first gain since May and better than expected. But payroll data was overshadowed by the unemployment rate which remained stuck at 9.6% for the third straight month.

The Dow added 9.24 points (0.08%) at 11,444. The S&P 500 gained 4.79 points (0.39%) to 1,225. The Nasdaq rose 1.64 points (0.06%) to 2,579.

Institutional investors, both foreign and domestic, were net buyers of equities on Thursday and Friday. Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of stocks worth Rs5,475 crore on Thursday and Rs167 crore on Friday. Similarly, domestic institutional investors' net purchases of equities totalled Rs874 crore on Thursday and Rs24 crore on Friday.

Anil Ambani-led Reliance Power (RPower) (up 4.27%) on Sunday announced a deal to secure $5 billion (nearly Rs22,000 crore) in funding from the US Export Import Bank for gas-based and renewable energy projects totalling about 9,000MW.

The deal, which coincides with the three-day visit of US president Barack Obama to India, was signed by Reliance Power chairman Anil Ambani and US Exim Bank chairman and president Fred Hochberg on Saturday.

RPower also had announced a deal in the presence of Mr Obama to procure equipment worth about Rs10,000 crore from General Electric and other US companies for its various power and coal mining projects.

The government on Sunday fixed the price band at Rs 85-Rs90 per share for the about Rs7,600 crore follow-on public offer (FPO) of state-run transmission company Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) (down 3.58%).

The FPO comprises over 84 crore equity shares of Rs10 each constituting 20% of the existing paid-up capital. The FPO is slated to hit the market on 9th November. The bids for institutional investors close on 11th November and 12th November for retail and non-institutional bidders.

National Thermal Power Company (NTPC) (down 1.63%) is planning to add 13,000MW of power generation capacity by the end of the XI Five-Year Plan in 2012, contributing to the Centre's plan of adding 68,000MW by 2017. The company aims to become a 75,000-MW company by 2017 and says that it has the core competency to achieve this feat.

NTPC has an installed capacity of about 32,000MW and presently operates 15 coal-based, seven gas-based and four joint venture power stations. It has contributed nearly 33% to the country's total electricity output during the year 2008-09. The company has been allocated six coal blocks for captive usage.


First Leasing Company Q2 net profit up to Rs9.2 crore vs Rs8.9 crore

First Leasing Co of India Ltd said its net profit for the September 2010 quarter rose 2.9% to Rs9.2 crore from Rs8.9 crore same quarter last year. Its total revenues for the September quarter 2010 declined 10.03% to Rs43.7 crore from Rs48.6 crore, First Leasing said in a regulatory filing.

On Monday, First Leasing shares fell 1.9% to Rs91 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex closed 0.7% down at 20,852 points.


ARSS Infra net profit jumps 205.6% to Rs16.7 crore in September quarter

Bhubaneswar-based ARSS Infrastructure Projects Ltd said its net profit for the September 2010 quarter jumped 205.6% to Rs16.7 crore from Rs11.3 crore in the same quarter last year.

During the September 2010 quarter, its net sales increased by nearly 206% to Rs200.7 crore from Rs115.9 crore.

Sunil Agarwal, CEO, ARSS Infrastructure Projects Ltd said, "We are seeing a strong demand environment across our industry verticals. Due to this, we have gained substantially over the past few months which have helped us expand our revenue and profit base. The last quarter has been extremely profitable as we have bagged orders at a rapid pace."


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