Directionless equities markets end marginally in green (Roundup)

December 3rd, 2008 - 6:45 pm ICT by IANS  

SensexMumbai, Dec 3 (IANS) After a day of volatile trading, Indian equities markets finished nearly flat with a key index closing just 8 points or 0.09 percent higher than its previous close Tuesday.The 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) finished at 8,747.43, up 8.19 points or 0.09 percent from its previous close Tuesday at 8,739.24 points.

The broader-based 50-share S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), however, finished marginally in the red at 2656.45, down 1.35 points or 0.05 percent from its previous close Tuesday at 2,657.80 points.

The BSE midcap index, however, ended in the green at 2,830.59, up 25.26 points or 0.90 percent from its previous close Tuesday at 2,805.33 points.

The BSE smallcap too finished in the green at 3,265.10, up 12.69 points or 0.39 percent from its previous close Tuesday at 3,252.41 points.

Sectorally, the major gainers were metal, realty, consumer durables and bank stocks.

The major losers were information technology, telecommunication, entertainment and media and technology, oil and gas and health care.

Among the stocks that make up the Sensex, the major gainers were Tata Steel, up 10.8 percent, Jaiprakash Associates, up 8.04 percent, Maruti Suzuki, up 6.94 percent and State Bank of India, up 5.50 percent.

The major losers were Infosys Technologies, down 4.29 percent, Wipro Ltd., down 4.23 percent, Mahindra and Mahindra, down 2.8 percent and Reliance Communications, down 2.29 percent.

Global cues were positive with a key index of the New York Stock Exchange finishing Tuesday with a gain of 4.25 percent and the Nasdaq index also ended 3.70 percent higher.

Asian markets Wednesday were also showing gains with the Nikkei, the key index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange up 1.79 percent and the Hang Seng, the key index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange finished 1.36 percent higher.

“Volumes are very low and the market is still searching for direction as is obvious from the volatility,” Jagannadham Thunuguntla, head of the capital markets arm of India’s fourth largest share brokerage firm, the Delhi-based SMC Group, told IANS.

“For example, there is still no clarity as to what US president-elect Obama’s stimulus package will be , no numbers have been given yet,” he said.

He, however, said that the statement by the US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi that bankruptcy of the big three US automobile makers was not an option was a bit of welcome news although the $34 billion bailout package that the car makers have asked from the US government seems too little.

“It is good that common sense has prevailed and common sense is a rare good these days as common sense is not common,” Thunuguntla said.

He also said that the overall situation, however, remains bleak. For example, foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) of Indian companies traded on foreign markets such as Luxembourg or Singapore had fallen sharply so that their yields have shot up.

While the yield on Amtek Auto has shot up to 60 percent, that of Suzlon Energy’s has gone up to 45 percent, he said, giving two examples. This means the financing costs of Indian companies are going up, he said.

“This also means there is a lack of confidence among foreign investors about the repayment abilities of Indian companies which will only make raising money more difficult,” he said.

The markets, are, therefore, likely to remain volatile although within a narrow range, Thunuguntla said.

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