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Markets end flat as Asian cues weigh

By Sohini Sen
Last updated on: April 01, 2013 16:26 IST
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BSEMarkets pared early morning gains as weakness in Asian bourses impacted our Indian shares and ended flat.

The BSE benchmark, after touching a high of 18,959 slipped to a low of 18,797.

The index has finally ended at 18,865 - up 29 points. Nifty ended up 22 points at 5,704.

Eight core sectors output fell 2.5% in February, against a growth of 3.1% in the previous month and a whopping 7.7% expansion in February, 2012, dashing the hope of policy makers that the industry will revive in the third quarter of the current financial year.

The eight core sectors, which have a weight of 38% in the Index of Industrial Production, saw five of them registering a contraction in February year-on-year, showed official data released on Monday.

Foreign Institutional Investors have poured in a record Rs 1.4 lakh crore ($26 billion) in the Indian stock market in FY 2012-13, the highest ever since overseas entities started investing in the country.

Meanwhile in Asia, Japan's Nikkei share average fell to a three-week low on Monday as investors took profits in stocks such as exporters and financials that had gained in recent weeks on the back of a weaker yen and prospects of monetary easing.

The Nikkei slipped 2% to 12,135. Hang Seng was down over half a per cent as well.

From the sectoral pack, BSE realty index soared 5.3% or 96 points to1,875. Capital goods, healthcare and power sectors have also seen buying interest and were up 1-2% each.

On the other hand, metal stocks lost their sheen as the BSE metal index ended down 1.2% at 8,652.

Auto index slipped 0.7% at 9,920. Avinash Gupta, Assistant Vice President Research Equity, Bonanza Portfolio Limited said, "the market had formed a bottom few days back, and realty index had not participated much in it.

"PLus the sector is a higher beta sector therefore the correction after the recent fall was expected. Some midcap shares, like Sobha Developers, which were undervalued have started to look attractive at the current juncture."

BHEL led the gainers list -- up 2.8% at Rs 182. Dr Reddy's and Cipla from the pharma space, were up over 1-3%


Larsen & Toubro, Infosys and HUL were up 1-2% each.

Market heavyweight - Reliance added 0.5% at Rs 778 while SBI, Bharti Airtel and GAIL ended flat.

On the other hand, Sterlite was down 4.3% at Rs 90.

Wipro slipped 1.3% at Rs 431 as the company exited the National Stock Exchange's benchmark index Nifty from Monday.

Wipro, along with Siemens, is being replaced by private sector lender IndusInd Bank and state-run mining giant NMDC in the 50-share benchmark index of the National Stock Exchange, as per an exchange circular.

Tata Motors, Jindal Steel, ONGC and TCS were also in red.

Tata Motors slipped 1.4% to Rs 266 ahead of the monthly vehicle sales numbers for the month of March.

The stock of India’s largest domestic vehicle maker has underperformed the market by falling 13% after reporting a weak set of numbers for February.

Mahindra & Mahindra reported an 11% year-on-year growth in auto sales in March 2013.

India's top utility vehicle maker said it sold 51,904 units in March 2013 as against 46,919 units during March 2012.

The stock was down 0.7% at Rs 854.

The broader markets however outperformed the benchmark index. The BSE mid-cap index advanced 1.2% at 6,221 and the small-cap index was up 2.3% at 5,938.

Shree Ganesh Jewellery House jumped 14% to Rs 103 after the company said it allotted 41.44 lakh equity shares to its promoters at Rs 150 each.

Aurobindo Pharma surged 4%, extending its previous day’s over 12% rally after US Food and Drug Administration’s (USFDA) has lifted the import alert for non-sterile products manufactured in its UNIT-VI cephalosporin facility based in Hyderabad.

TRF has surged 20% to its upp[er circuit of Rs 172 after the company received Rs 360 crore orders from Nabinagar Power Generating Company Private Limited, a joint venture Company of NTPC and Bihar State Power (Holding) Company.

BSE market breadth held strong. Out of 2,835 stocks traded, 1,874 shares advanced while 869 shares declined in trades.

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Sohini Sen in Mumbai
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