Bulls edge forward as markets end tamely (Weekly market review)

February 28th, 2009 - 3:28 pm ICT by IANS  

SensexMumbai, Feb 28 (IANS) Bulls managed to inch forward at the Indian equities markets during the week just ended despite weak GDP numbers, the rupee falling to a lifetime low and uncertain global cues. A key index crawled upwards, gaining a meagre 0.55 percent over its last weekly close.
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Friday ended trade at 8,891.61 points, registering a 0.55 percent or 48.4 points increase from its Feb 20 close of 8,843.21 points.

Similarly, the broader S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) shut shop at 2,763.5 points, about 1 percent higher than last week’s close.

However, broader market indices like the BSE midcap index lost 33.43 points, while the BSE smallcap index was down 54.58 points or 1.73 percent.

“The markets are holding up despite the bad GDP (gross domestic product) numbers and things like the rupee hitting an all-time low. One cannot be sure of how long this resilience will continue though,” said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, chief executive of New Delhi-based brokerage firm SMC Group.

The markets started the week on Tuesday as Monday was a holiday on account of Mahashivratri.

The government announced cuts in excise duty Tuesday, which led to a mild surge in some stocks but could not be sustained as the Sensex closed down 21.15 points or 0.24 percent at 8,822.06 points.

The Nifty ended at 2,733.9 points, 0.09 percent lower.

The markets did not gain much Wednesday in spite of investors buying stocks to cover their positions before futures and options contract expired Thursday.

The Sensex closed at 8,902.56 points, up 80.5 points or only 0.91 percent, while the Nifty ended at 2,762.5 points, 1.05 percent higher.

Equities remained dull during most of Thursday’s sessions, but were propelled by good buying of blue chip stocks towards closing. Sensex gained 0.59 percent or 52.3 points to end at 8,954.86 points.

Nifty closed at 2,785.65 points, 0.98 percent higher than its last close at 2,762.5 points.

Thursday’s major loser was Ranbaxy, which took a beating as investors hurried to offload the stock following news that the US Food and Drug Administration had alleged that the company falsified data and test results in drug applications. The Ranbaxy scrip was down 18 percent at Rs.169.95.

Friday marked an end of this trading week with markets holding their own in face of depressing GDP growth numbers and uncertainty prevailing in global markets. The Sensex closed at 8,891.61 points, down 0.71 percent or 63.25 points from its previous close. The Nifty shed 0.96 percent to close at 2,758.8 points.

The top gainers during the week on the Sensex were Tata Motors (up 11 percent), Maruti Suzuki (up 7.2 percent), NTPC Ltd (up 3.3 percent) and Hindustan Unilever (up 1.7 percent).

Among the top losers were Ranbaxy (down 22.2 percent), ICICI Bank (down 9.4 percent), HDFC (down 8.5 percent) and Ambuja Cements (down 8.4 percent).

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) made net sales of $311.3 million during the week.

“This shows that foreign institutions are pulling out at a faster rate from developing countries as their own parent entities are faced with a liquidity crunch. The flight of foreign currency will definitely put further pressure on the rupee and it will be interesting to see how much foreign currency reserves dip,” added Thunuguntla.

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