The broader markets were thrashed for the fifth successive day today on offloading by institutional investors. The sell-off pulled the market down more than 2%, the biggest drop this week.
The market opened with minor gains, but profit-taking in early trade sent the key indices into the red. A recovery followed soon, lifting the market higher. However, choppy trade and another bout of selling added to the market's woes. A rise in weekly food inflation numbers also added to the pressure. Mid-cap and small-cap stocks continued to be a drag for the fifth day in a row. The losses widened in the post-noon session sending the indices further southwards.
Finally, the Sensex tumbled 454.12 points (2.31%) lower to close at 19,242.36. The index touched a high of 19,771.09 and a low of 19,160.87 during the session. The Nifty declined 137.20 points (2.32%) at 5,766.50. The benchmark scaled an intraday high of 5,927.30 and a low of 5,742.30.
The losers outperformed the gainers today. The Sensex ended with 27 declining stocks against three gainers. The Nifty settled with 44 stocks in the red and six advancing stocks. Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index plunged 4.48% while the BSE Small-cap index dived 5.92%.
Wipro (up 0.67%), Infosys (up 0.54%) and ITC (up 0.39%) were the only gainers on the Sensex. The laggards were led by Reliance Infrastructure (down 6.62%), Reliance Communications (down 5.66%), Hindalco Industries (down 5.49%), Cipla (down 4.92%) and Tata Motors (down 4.71%).
BSE IT (up 0.03%) was the lone gainer in the sectoral space today. BSE Consumer Durables (down 6.29%), BSE Realty (down 4.76%), BSE Metal (down 3.67%), BSE Healthcare (down 3.53%) and BSE Auto (down 3.33%) were the top sectoral losers.
A week after declining to an 18-month low, food inflation rose again, albeit marginally, to 8.69% for the week ended 27th November on the back of the rise in prices of rice, onions, fruits and milk. Food inflation in the previous week stood at 8.60%, which was the lowest since May last year.
The sudden rise in food inflation, after a record fall, is likely to be a cause of worry for the government which has targeted an overall inflation rate of 6% by March next year. Overall inflation, which also takes into account manufactured goods, primary articles and fuels, was at 8.58% in October. The data for November is expected next week.
Asian markets, with the exception of the Shanghai Composite, finished higher. The gains were supported by positive economic data from Japan and Australia. Japanese gross domestic product grew at an annualized 4.5% rate in the three months ended 30th September, faster than the 3.9% reported last month. Australia's unemployment rate fell to 5.2% for November from 5.4% in October, but the number of employed rose 54,600, nearly three times higher than analysts' estimates. However, the Chinese market was down on concerns about a rate hike.
The Hang Seng gained 0.28%, the Jakarta Composite was up 0.21%, the KLSE Composite rose 0.24%, the Nikkei 225 climbed 0.50%, the Straits Times added 0.14%, the Seoul Composite jumped 1.21% and the Taiwan Weighted advanced 0.58%. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite tanked 0.82%.
Chairman of the prime minister's economic advisory council C Rangarajan has asked microfinance institutions (MFIs) to overhaul their "flawed" business model for sustainability. This comes on the heels of former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor YV Reddy likening MFIs to moneylenders.
On Wednesday, Wall Street settled with marginal gains, led by financial and technology stocks. Banking stocks ended higher on hopes of higher profits going forward. A positive outlook from technology majors Texas Instruments Inc and Nouvellus Systems Inc boosted the sector. Besides, a strengthening dollar kept a tab on commodity prices.
The Dow rose 13.32 points (0.12%) to 11,372.48. The S&P 500 added 4.53 points (0.37%) to 1,228.28. The Nasdaq advanced 10.67 points (0.41%) to 2,609.16.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of stocks worth Rs1,484.90 crore on Wednesday. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors were net buyers of stocks worth Rs409.05 crore.
Pipavav Shipyard Ltd (down 9.50%) has informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that the company has signed Protocol with Rosoboron Export, a Russian government arm, for defence co-operation with foreign governments.
This protocol is for four additional numbers of Stealth frigates under Russian collaboration at the yard of the company. The Russians have delivered three Stealth frigates to India and balance four are under construction at a Russian yard. The company is the first private sector shipyard in India post independence to be approved for building of warships. The protocol also covers the mid-life updates, dry docking, repairs and modernization of submarines of Russian origin in use by the Indian Navy.
Tata Group firm Rallis India (down 2.69%) has said that it has acquired majority stake in Bangalore-based seed research firm Metahelix Life Sciences for nearly Rs100 crore in what was an all-cash deal.
With the signing of this deal, the company has announced its foray into seeds business, which is a key focus area of the firm under its growth agenda, the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange on Thursday.
Strides Arcolab (down 3.14%) has entered into an agreement to acquire 70% stake in Inbiopro Solutions, a Bangalore-based biotechnology firm. The acquisition marks Strides' entry into biologics, strengthening the company's offering in the speciality segment.
The acquisition will give Strides immediate access to a portfolio of eight products estimated to have global sales of over $8 billion. Commercialisation of these products is expected to begin in 2013.
Navin Jindal-led Jindal Power Ltd is likely to launch a Rs7,000 crore initial public offer(IPO) before March 2011.
"There is a tentative planning that we would bring the IPO before March 2011," Jindal Power managing director RS Sharma said.
The company had earlier said the proceed of public offer would be utilised to part fund its around Rs22,000-crore expansion projects in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
Jindal Power will channelise 35% of the power produced from the Chhattisgarh expansion project to the Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board (CSEB) and sell the rest through short, medium and long-term agreements.
Piramal Healthcare Ltd on Thursday announced the buyback of 20% of its total number of shares through a tender offer that will entail an outgo of Rs2,508.16 crore.
The company shareholders through a postal ballot had approved the buy back of 4,18,02,629 shares of the firm from the shareholders on a proportionate basis through the tender offer at price of Rs600 per share, aggregating Rs2,508.16 crore.
The buyback opens on 17 January 2011 and closes on 7 February 2011, Piramal Healthcare said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
The last date of withdrawal is 2 February 2011 while last date of verification of shares has been fixed for 17 February 2011, it added.
"The last date of intimation regarding acceptance/non-acceptance and dispatch of consideration/ share certificates/demat instruction is 21 February 2011," the company said.
It further added that last date of extinguishment of bought back shares has been fixed for 28 February 2011.
In the postal ballot, 13.05 crore valid votes had favoured the buyback resolution, 2.74 lakh votes did not support the resolution.
On Thursday, Piramal Healthcare ended 1.63% down at Rs454.85 on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex declined 2.31% to 19,242.36 points.