Nifty, Sensex making a feeble attempt at recovery:Monday Closing Report
Moneylife Digital Team 31 January 2011

Watch whether the Nifty trades above Monday's high. If so, we could see a rally till 5,700 and thereafter to 5,800

The market opened with a deep cut this morning, worried that the strife in Egypt could have global repercussions, impacting trade and commerce. Its impact was beginning to be felt as crude prices rose in Asia. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for March delivery, was up 37 cents to $89.71 per barrel in morning trade. Analysts opined that early losses in the domestic market were the result of offloading of funds by foreign investors.

The market fluctuated in negative terrain in post-noon trade as attempts of a recovery were shot down by recurring selling pressure. The Sensex inched towards the neutral line and the Nifty crossed that mark in late trade on selective buying, but were soon pulled down to end lower for the fourth straight day.

The Sensex opened at a five-month low at 18,226. The Sensex and Nifty, for most of the trading session today, traded below Friday's closing. The intra-day low of 5,416 (18,038 in Sensex) was much below Friday's low. However, after 2.30pm, strong buying took the Nifty into the positive territory (the day's high was 5,527). The Sensex closed 68 down at 18,328 while the Nifty was down six at 5,506. The Sensex is making lower highs and making new lows, but this spell will be broken soon.

January 2011 has been one of the worst months for the Sensex since October 2008. The benchmark has lost 2,181 points this month wiping off most of the gains (2,303) made from 1 September 2010 till 31 December 2010. In the 20 trading days of January 2011, the Sensex was negative for 14 days. The advance-decline on the NSE was 512:889. The bears are strong and the fall will continue in the days to come, but before that we expect a short rally that could be confirmed if the market trades tomorrow above today's high.

The market breadth on the benchmarks was tilted in favour of the decliners as the Sensex returned with 17 losers and 13 gainers and the Nifty settled with 28 stocks in the red against 22 in the green. Among the broader markets, the BSE Mid-cap index declined 0.44% and the BSE Small-cap index lost 0.80%.

In the sectoral space, BSE Capital Goods (up 3.26%), BSE Power (up 1.31%) and BSE Consumer Durables (up 1.22%) were the prominent gainers while BSE Realty (down 2.23%), BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (down 2%) and BSE TECk (down 1.52%) were the top losers.

The top Sensex gainers were ONGC (up 3.69%), BHEL (up 2.98%), Hindalco Industries (up 2.73%), Larsen & Toubro (up 2.19%) and Mahindra & Mahindra (up 2.18%). On the other hand, Jaiprakash Associates (down 4.69%), ITC (down 3.18%), HDFC (down 2.73%), Bharti Airtel (down2.61%) and Reliance Infrastructure (down 2.31%) were the major losers.

Output of the six core infrastructure industries grew by 6.6% in December 2010, an indicator that the Indian economy is on a firm wicket. The higher growth charted in December is significantly higher than the 3% expansion recorded in the previous month (November 2010) and is expected to lift the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) numbers for December.

The six core sectors-crude oil, petroleum refinery products, coal, electricity, cement and finished steel-had expanded by 6.2% in December 2009.

Markets in Asia, with the exception of China and Taiwan, ended with huge losses on concerns arising from the political turmoil in Egypt that led investors to safe-haven assets like commodities and gold. Moody's Investors Services has cut Egypt's government bond ratings after thousands of protesters rallied against president Hosni Mubarak for a sixth day. The development has cast a spell on the global recovery process.

The Hang Seng declined 0.72%, the Jakarta Composite plunged 2.25%, the KLSE Composite shed 0.13%, the Nikkei 225 tanked 1.18%, the Straits Times tumbled 1.55% and the Seoul Composite declined 1.81%. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite surged 1.35% and the Taiwan Weighted gained 0.47% today.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of stocks worth Rs706.84 crore on Friday. Domestic institutional investors, on the other hand, were net buyers of stocks worth Rs81.24 crore.

IT hardware major HCL Infosystems (up 3.58%) today said it has bagged a Rs250-crore order from the public sector telephone service provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).

The IT company will be responsible for deploying a modern facility for printing and managing BSNL customer bills and make the entire capital investment to upgrade the existing systems for higher efficiency, HCL Infosystems said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Pharmaceutical major Aurobindo Pharma (up 0.63%) today said it has received tentative approval from the US health regulator to manufacture and market generic Famciclovir tablets for treatment of herpes virus infections. The approval was granted by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for Famciclovir tablets in strengths of 125 mg, 250 mg and 500 mg, Aurobindo Pharma said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Diversified conglomerate ITC (down 3.18%) today said it will invest up to Rs3,000 crore to set up a paper manufacturing unit in Andhra Pradesh as part of plans to double capacity over the next five years. The new 2.5 lakh-3 lakh tonnes per annum unit will come up in Khammam district and the company plans to acquire 1,000 acres for this purpose.

ITC's paperboards and specialty papers division, which caters to a wide spectrum of packaging, writing and printing paper requirements, has four manufacturing units at present, with a total capacity of 5.5 lakh million tonnes per annum.

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