Markets end flat amid volatility
The markets ended flat, amid a volatile trading session on Friday, on account of shortcovering in late trades after foreign institutional investors continued to remain buyers despite weakness in the markets.
After a weak opening markets fell to a 2-week low amid weak Asian cues and slipped further after the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a press conference today gave no direction or specifics on what his government plans to do in the few months available.
However, recovery was seen in late trades as gains in IT majors helped offset most of the losses.
The 30-share Sensex ended down 37 points at 20,851 and the 50-share Nifty ended down 10 points at 6,211.
Foreign Institutional Investors were net buyers in Indian equities during the week till Thursday to the tune of Rs 1,110 crore.
The rupee extended losses for a third consecutive session, as the dollar strengthened against emerging Asian currencies and as a bout of risk aversion hit local stocks.
The partially convertible currency fell to as much as 62.53 to a dollar, a level last seen on December 4, as against Thursday's close of 62.26. It was last trading at 62.28.
Asian markets ended weak with Hang Seng down 2.2% while Shanghai Composite and Straits Times ended down over 1% each. Japanese stock market remained closed.
The BSE Oil & Gas, Power, Metal, Capital Goods, Metal indices ended down over 1.2-1.7% each while IT index ended up 2.2%.
In the oil and gas space Reliance Ind and ONGC ended down 1-2% each contributing the most to Sensex losses.
Tata Motors ended down 2.7% contributing the most to the Sensex losses after the company late Thursday reported a 42.28% year-on-year decline in its total vehicle sales at 37,852 units in December 2013. The company had sold 65,582 units in the same month last year.
Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) ended down 3.7%, extending its 1.3% yesterday’s fall, on reporting a 5.7% year-on-year (yoy) declined in total sales at 56,648 units in the month of December 2013.
Coal India ended down 1.7% after it recorded an output of 319.19 million tonnes for the April-December period, missing the target by 4.5%. The world's largest coal miner has set a production target of 334.44 mn tonne for the nine-month period.
IT shares firmed up with Infosys, TCS and Wipro gaining 1-2.8% each.
Shares of Hero MotoCorp ended nearly 1% up after the company registered its highest-ever sales for any calendar year. Sales during calendar year 2013 (Jan-Dec) stood at 6.18 million units compared with 6.12 million units sold in calendar year 2012.
Among other shares, shares of Financial Technologies group companies – Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX) and Financial Technologies India (FTIL) surged 18-20% each amid heavy volumes. The MCX board has appointed Dr Manoj Vaish as MD&CEO for a period of three years.
Hindustan Construction Company ended up over 4% after the company said it has been awarded a contract worth Rs 443 crore by IRCON International to construct a tunnel and two bridges in Northern India.
In the broader market the BSE Mid-cap and the Small-cap index ended up 0.6% each.
Market breadth turned positive in late trades with 1,274 gainers and 1,182 losers on the BSE.
Photographs: Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff