Markets end flat amid range bound trade
The benchmark indices ended flat on Tuesday's trading session as gains in FMCG shares failed to offset losses in auto shares.
The Sensex ended higher by 2 points at 17,105 and the 50-share Nifty closed lower by 4 points at 5,193. The markets traded in a very tight range in trades today. The Sensex traded in a range of 160 points and the Nifty traded in a range of 55 points.
Meanwhile, the European shares rose and the euro firmed on Tuesday in line with a broad rally in riskier assets due to talk that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke may signal more monetary stimulus in testimony to the US Congress later in the day. The CAC 40, DAX and FTSE were trading higher by 0.5% each.
The Asian markets ended the day on a strong note as investors covered short positions and hunted for bargains while awaiting US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's view on the U.S. economy expected later in the day. Hang Seng advanced 1.75% or 334 points at 19,455, Nikkei jumped 30 points to 8,755 and Shanghai Composite added 13 points to close at 2,161 levels.
Back home, mild selling pressure was visible across the board barring FMCG and healthcare stocks. Bajaj Auto was the top loser among the Sensex stocks, down 2.5% to close at Rs 1,446. Index heavyweight TCS slipped 2% to close at Rs 1,186 levels. BHEL, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors, ONGC, Sterlite Industries, Tata Power, Tata Steel and Jindal Steel were also among the losers from the heavyweight pockets.
On the other hand, healthcare and FMCG stocks were on the buyers radar as they are considered as safe haven bets during the turbulent times. Dr Reddy's Labs, Sun Pharma, Biocon and Ranbaxy from the heavyweight pockets advanced 1-3% each. From the mid-cap healthcare stocks Cadila Healthcare jumped nearly 6% to close at Rs 844 after the company said received a letter from USFDA, conveying that the facilities at Moraiya are acceptable.
Bharti Airtel ended up 1.2% ahead of Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) meeting on tomorrow to decide on which prices to charge for 2G radio airwaves at an upcoming auction.
Axis Bank ended down 2%. The bank said its net profit for the quarter ended June 30, 2012 expanded 22% to Rs 1,154 crore from Rs 942 crore a year earlier. Higher interest income from advances and surge in trading profits aided the bank's earnings growth during the quarter.
Other gainers from the heavyweight space include Wipro, ITC, Coal India, Hindustan Unilever, HDFC, Hindalco, SBI and ICICI Bank.
Auto and realty stocks were amongst the worst hit in trades today. The BSE auto index slipped 1.3% or 118 points to close at 9,126 levels. Realty index slipped 1.24% or 21 points to shut shop at 1,676 levels. Power, capital goods, IT, oil & gas, PSU, metal and bankex indices also closed in the red.
At the same time, the BSE healthcare index advanced 1% or 47 points to close at 4,939. FMCG and consumer durable indices also edged higher in trades today.
Shares of aviation companies such as Kingfisher Airlines, Spicejet and Jet Airways ended lower by 0.6-1.4% each after the oil marketing companies (OMCs) hiked the air turbine fuel (ATF) prices on Monday.
Swelect Energy Systems (formerly Numeric Power Systems) tanked 49%, or Rs 137, to Rs 145 after the stock turned ex-dividend today.
Thirumalai Chemicals soared 12% to Rs 96, extending its past two days rally after reporting a strong set of numbers for the quarter ended June 2012. The trading volumes on the counter surge over five times with as many as a combined 5,95,885 shares have changed hands on the counter in morning trades.
The broader markets under performed the benchmark indices. The BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices slipped nearly 1% each.
The overall breadth was negative as 1,763 stocks declined while 1,044 stocks advanced.