Stocks
Nifty, Sensex again on a firm downtrend: Thursday Closing Report

Yesterday we had mentioned that Nifty could still rise provided it does not close below 5,905. Today it fell below 5,905 in the first 10 minutes and then continued to fall. The next support is at 5,820
 

The market erased the gains accrued in the last three trading sessions on a sell-off in heavyweights as the Budget Session of Parliament began today. Yesterday we had mentioned that Nifty could still rise provided it does not close below 5,905. Today it fell below 5,905 in the first 10 minutes and then continued to fall. The next support for the Nifty is at 5,820. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) witnessed a volume of 64.18 crore shares and the advance decline ratio was 324:1205.

 

The domestic market opened weak tracking lacklustre global cues. US markets closed lower overnight as the minutes of the Federal Reserve January meeting recommended slowing or stop the bond buying initiative sooner than expected. Markets in Asia were in the negative in morning trade as Chinese premier Wen Jiabao reiterated his intent to rein in property prices.

 

The Nifty opened 33 points down at 5,910 and the Sensex started off the day at 19,549, a cut of 94 points from its close on Wednesday. The benchmarks hit their intraday highs in initial trade itself with the Nifty rising to 5,921 and the Sensex crawling up to 19,555.

 

Across-the-board selling as the Indian Parliament begins its Budget Session saw the indices drifting lower as trade progressed.

 

Addressing both Houses of Parliament at the onset of the Budget Session, president Pranab Mukherjee said, “Both global and domestic factors have affected our growth. We need to address the impact of both. My government has responded to the situation by taking several measures to revive investment activity and investor sentiment.”

 

The weak opening of the key European indices added to the woes of the local investors in noon trade. Barring the BSE Consumer Durables index, all other sectoral gauges on the BSE were in the red the late session.

 

The benchmarks dropped to their lows in the last few minutes of trade with the Nifty skidding to 5,844 and the Sensex declining to 19,290.

 

The market settled near the lows on heavy selling in metal, banking, realty and capital goods sectors. The Nifty closed 91 points (1.53%) at 5,852 while the Sensex settled at 19,325, a drop of 317 points (1.62%) from its previous close.

 

The broader indices underperformed the Sensex today. The BSE Mid-cap index tanked 1.64% and BSE Small-cap index tumbled 1.74%.

 

All sectoral indices ended lower today. The top losers were BSE Metal (down 3.23%); BSE Bankex (down 2.52%); BSE Realty (down 2.33%); BSE Capital Goods (down 2.07%) and BSE Oil & Gas (down 1.77%).

 

GAIL India (up 0.09%) was the lone gainer on the Sensex today. The chief losers were Jindal Steel & Power (down 4.19%); Tata Steel (down 4.18%); Sterlite Industries, ICICI Bank (down 3.77% each) and Hindalco Industries (down 3.54%).

 

The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—Videocon Industries (up 5.25%) and CRISIL (up 2.04%).

The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—Shriram Transport & Finance Company (down 7.72%) and Sun TV Network (down 7.21%).

 

The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—7Seas Technologies (up 19.94%) and Alka India (up 16.67%).

The top two B Group losers on the BSE were—Cimmco (down 13.36%) and Everlon Synthetics (down 213.20%).

 

Cipla (up 0.18%) and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (up 0.09%) were the only gainers on the Nifty. The losers were led by JSPL (down 4.47%); Tata Steel (down 4.10%); Reliance Infrastructure (down 3.93%); Sesa Goa (down 3.91%) and ICICI Bank (down 3.83%).

 

Markets in Asia closed lower as the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao suggested the need to rein in property prices. Comments arising form the US Fed’s January meeting also  weighed on sentiments.

 

The Shanghai Composite tumbled 2.97%; the Hang Seng tanked 1.72%; the Jakarta Composite slipped 0.04%; the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.39%; the Straits Times declined 0.64%; the Seoul Composite fell 0.47% and the Taiwan Weighted settled 0.89%. On the other hand, the KLSE Composite gained 0.04%.

 

At the time of writing, the key European markets were sharply down between 1.74% and 1.95% on worries that the US Fed will prune its asset buying programme. At the same time, the US stock futures were trading in the negative.

 

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of shares totalling Rs433.59 crore on Wednesday while domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities amounting to Rs591.18 crore.

 

 Hindustan Motors is in talks with sports utility vehicle makers across Europe and other markets to utilise the surplus capacity of its Chennai car plant. The Chennai car plant, which is being demerged by the CK Birla company as a standalone subsidiary, is hopeful of roping in a couple of international SUV brands looking at outsourcing some of their manufacturing to India in the next few months. The stock closed 0.52% lower at Rs9.55 on the NSE.

 

Elecon Engineering Company has bagged two orders worth Rs 183 crore and Rs 14.42 crore. While the Rs 183-crore order is from NCC (formerly Nagarjuna Construction Company) for design-to-commissioning of coal handling pipe conveyor system, that of Rs14.42 crore is from Monnet Ispat & Energy for supply of stacker reclaimers. The stock tanked 3.07% to settle at Rs36.35 on the NSE.

 

Voltas, belonging to the Tata Group, today said it has inked a pact with Swiss textile equipments maker Benninger AG for marketing and selling the foreign firm’s products in India. The alliance is expected to strengthen the outreach of both Voltas and Benninger across the rapidly expanding Indian textile equipments market. Voltas dipped 1.96% to close at Rs87.35 on the NSE.

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Cement prices up 3% in January; demand not yet up to the mark

According to Edelweiss, cement prices increased by Rs5 to Rs70 in January, across the country. However, the current demand is much below the regular “busy season” phenomenon

During January, cement prices across the country rose by Rs5 to Rs70, led by West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The current all-India average price of cement is 3% up compared with the average price of the December quarter. While the current demand is better as compared to last few months, it is yet to witness the busy season phenomenon, says Edelweiss Securities, in a report.

 

According to the research note, during January, the highest recovery was witnessed in the Eastern region (about 11.8% on month-on-month-MoM basis) while the least was in the South and West (1% up MoM). Prices remained weak in Andhra Pradesh (flat on a MoM basis) and Gujarat (down about 4% MoM) on account of continued oversupply, it said.

 

Edelweiss said, over the month, prices in the north have seen a recovery of about 6% despite demand being impacted by continued sand mining issues in Punjab and by adverse climatic conditions in Rajasthan. Dealers expect demand to recover in the coming weeks which could push up prices by Rs5 to Rs15 per bag across regions, it added.

 

 

As compared to the last month, prices are up Rs20 to Rs65 per bag in Kolkata and are up Rs30 to Rs70 per bag in Patna. In the northern region, cement prices increased by Rs2 to Rs40 per bag in trade and by Rs5 to Rs45 per bag in the non-trade segments as demand remained subdued due to continued spell of cold weather and unseasonal rains. Continued sand mining issues has also impacted prices in Punjab, the report said.

 

In the southern region, prices remained subdued in Andhra Pradesh due to oversupply. While over the month prices increased by Rs5 to Rs10 per bag in the trade segment and by Rs5 to Rs15 per bag in the non-trade segment in Bangalore and Chennai, they remained flat in Cochin and Hyderabad. As compared to the last few months, demand has improved across the southern region.

 

According to Edelweiss, oversupply also impacted cement prices in the western region, especially in Ahmedabad. During January, cement prices across the region, except Ahmedabad, increased by Rs3 to Rs25 per bag in trade and by Rs5 to Rs25 per bag in the non-trade segments. In Ahmedabad, prices declined by Rs10 to Rs35 due to oversupply. Dealers have announced a price hike of Rs8 to Rs35 in Ahmedabad, but the same is not yet implemented.

 

In the central region, cement prices increased by Rs13 to Rs45 per bag in trade and by Rs15 to Rs55 per bag in the non-trade segment during the first month of 2013. Cement prices in Uttar Pradesh witnessed a recovery of Rs25 to Rs55 per bag. The current average price is up 5% compared with average price of third quarter, Edelweiss said.

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Indian Railways to introduce 100 news trains in Rail Budget

Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in trains and stations, providing quality linen, upgradation of fire-fighting arrangements and new facilities for differently-abled persons are some of the measures likely to be announced by railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal in his budget speech

The Indian Railways is drawn up plans to introduce about 100 new trains, including AC double deckers, new passenger services and extension of services to cater to the demands of various states in the Rail Budget 2013-14.

 

As far as rolling stock programme is concerned, the announcement will be made for manufacturing of 4,200 new coaches including 600 LHB coaches in the Rail Budget.

 

While provision for manufacturing of 670 new locomotives including 20 LNG locos will be made, the budget will also account for manufacturing of about 16,000 new wagons.

 

“The focus of the Rail Budget this year is on providing more amenities to passengers. Attempts have been made to cater to the demands of all regions including Northeast as there were representations for new trains from various states,” sources in the railway ministry said.

 

While services of some express trains have been extended, frequencies of certain popular trains have also been increased keeping the demand of people's representatives in mind.

 

“About 100 new trains will be announced in the budget,” the sources said.

 

Last year, the Railways had announced launching of 175 trains including passenger services.

 

Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in trains and stations, providing quality linen, upgradation of fire-fighting arrangements and new facilities for differently-abled persons are some of the measures likely to be announced by railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal in his maiden budget speech on 26th February.

 

The proposal to provide Braille stickers inside coaches for assisting visually impaired passengers are among the measures likely to be announced by Mr Bansal.

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