Share prices struggling to rally; fall to resume soon: Monday Closing Report

Expect selling pressure at the Nifty level of 5,600

The market opened with gains following last week’s sell-off in commodities, especially crude, easing the government’s worries about higher prices. Sensex and Nifty opened in positive at 18,629 and 5,575. Immediately the market hit their respective intra day high, which was higher than Friday’s high, at 18,644 and 5,586. A firming trend in the Asian markets also boosted investor sentiment here. Stocks of metals, realty, oil & gas, banking and capital goods propped up the indices higher in early trade.
The market, however, soon started falling trend amid choppy trade. In the morning session itself the market hit its intra day low at 18,367 and 5,502.  Immediately thereafter the indices hot up, but lack of direction ensured that the benchmarks stayed near at the same level as yesterday. However, the market doesn’t have the strength to rally much. The Sensex rose 10 points to close at 18,529 while the Nifty fell 0.35 points at 5,551. For whatever it is worth, for the second day in a row, the market has made a higher high and a higher low. The advance-decline ratio on the National Stock Exchange was 540:801.
In line with the Sensex, the broader markets also ended unchanged. The BSE Mid-cap index gained 0.12% while the BSE Small-cap index added 0.22 points.
In the sectoral space, BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (up 1.24%), BSE Metal (up 0.74%) and BSE TECk (up 0.49%) were the top gainers. On the other hand, BSE Auto (down 1.29%), BSE Bankex (down 0.37%) and BSE Consumer Durables (down 0.32%) were the major losers.
The top performers on the Sensex were Bharti Airtel (up 3.93%), Hindustan Unilever (up 3.55%), Tata Power (up 2.49%), Jindal Steel (up 1.02%) and Sterlite Industries (up 0.95%). The laggards were led by Maruti Suzuki (down 2.24%), Jaiprakash Associates (down 1.91%), Tata Motors (down 1.90%), Bajaj Auto (down 1.84%) and Reliance Infrastructure (down 1.43%).
New Delhi-based research firm PE Analytics has drawn up plans to launch its real estate price Index in partnership with a leading commodity exchange. These indices will be based on the actual transaction and registration values prevailing in various micro-markets for the residential and commercial asset classes.
The indices will be the barometer for measurement of the real estate sector performance and will also enable trade on the exchange. The company is looking at September 2011 to go live with this product offering.
Markets in Asia settled mostly higher on Monday, bouncing back after a sharp fall last week. However, the gains were capped by concerns about the euro zone’s sovereign debt troubles. On the other hand, the Japanese market was down on fears of potential power outages and the Seoul market was weighed down on speculations that the Bank of Korea might hike interest rates this week.
The Shanghai Composite gained 0.32%, the Hang Seng surged 0.76%, the KLSE Composite rose 0.26%, the Straits Times jumped 1.21% and the Taiwan Weighted climbed 0.65%. On the other hand, the Jakarta Composite fell 0.34%, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.66% and the Seoul Composite lost 0.39%.
Back home, domestic institutional investors were net buyers of stocks worth Rs1,018.04 crore on Friday. On the other hand, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of equities worth Rs655.34 crore.


Union KBC joins the crowded mutual fund space

Give its schemes the go-by. There are many other fund houses with a long track record to pick from

It looks like mutual fund (MF) investors are spoilt for choice, with more and more players springing up. An addition to the already crammed space of MF players is Union KBC, a joint venture between Union Bank of India and the Belgian KBC Asset Management Group, where Union Bank has a 51% stake and the other 49% is owned by KBC. Union KBC is launching a liquid fund scheme and equity scheme. From the second year, it may make a foray into offshore funds.

Union KBC Equity Fund, an open-ended equity scheme would allocate 75-100% of asset in equity and equity-related instruments, including equity-linked derivatives with medium- to high-risk profile. It would further invest up to 25% of assets in debt and money market instruments with low- to medium-risk profile. The fund will be benchmarked against the BSE 100 Index.

Union KBC Equity Fund will be managed by Ashish Ranawade, chief investment officer. Mr Ranawade was with Unit Trust of India (UTI) from April 2006 to July 2010 as head of PMS with the responsibility for portfolio performance and business strategy. Between September 2005 and April 2006, he was with ING Investment Management as head of PMS. From June 1994 to September 2005 he was with UTI in various capacities as fund manager, analyst and head of PMS. 

Should you invest in Union KBC’s schemes? Already confused investors will now be more confused, trying to choose from the array of products, which are similar in nature. Figuring out the best for them might be a task! And choosing an altogether new fund house is one of the biggest risks, as you don’t have any past performance to compare. Fund manager Mr Ranawade may be experienced, but two of the fund houses that he has worked for are not exactly known for a great investment record.

Thus, for any investor, taking a decision to invest in this fund is not very difficult—there are better and well-proven options available.


Reliance cuts natural gas supplies to non-core users

The oil ministry’s directive of prioritising gas supplies followed a sharp drop in output at the KG-D6 fields. Production fell from 61.5 mmscmd achieved in March 2010 to under 50 mmscmd currently, instead of rising to about 69 mmscmd as was projected previously

New Delhi: Falling in line with an oil ministry order, Reliance Industries (RIL) today cut natural gas supplies to non-core users like refineries and steel plants so that full demand of fertiliser and power plants can be met, reports PTI.

Reliance from 0600 hours today started implementing the ministry’s priority allocation order which had asked it to first supply natural gas from its eastern offshore KG-D6 fields to priority sector like urea-making units and power plants.

Supplies to non-core refineries, petrochemical units and sponge iron plants will be made only if there are any volumes left after supplies to priority sector.

“Reliance this morning curtailed gas supplies to non-core users, including its own refineries and petrochemical plant,” an industry official said.

The oil ministry directive followed a sharp drop in output at the KG-D6 fields. Production fell from 61.5 million metric standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) achieved in March 2010 to under 50 mmscmd currently, instead of rising to about 69 mmscmd as was projected previously.

When contacted, a Reliance spokesperson did not offer any comments.

Output at KG-D6, the nation’s largest gas field, is just enough to meet the contracted demand of fertiliser units, power plants, LPG extraction units and city gas distribution firms that sell CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to households.

In face of falling output, Reliance had made a pro-rata cut in supplies of all its customers including priority users, the official said.

Of the 57.17 mmscmd of KG-D6 gas for which contracts have been signed, 9.57 mmscmd has been cornered by steel, petrochemical and refineries sector.

Essar Steel had signed up for 3.2 mmscmd, Welspun Maxsteel 0.40 mmscmd and Ispat 0.59 mmscmd. Besides, Reliance’s petrochemical plant gets 1.17 mmscmd and a sizeable 4.21 mmscmd goes to refineries including the Jamnagar units of Reliance.

“Supplies to non-core users has not dried up completely as Reliance has some gas left after meeting priority sector requirement,” the official said pointing to Essar Steel getting 0.6 mmscmd today against 2.8 mmscmd that it was drawing till yesterday.

Reliance had previously resisted implementing the order but fell in line once the ministry cited last year’s Supreme Court directive that held that only government had the right to decide users of the gas.

Welspun Maxsteel and Ispat last week approached the Bombay High Court seeking a stay on the ministry order, while Essar has approached the Delhi High Court. None of the courts have so far stayed the order.


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