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Rangebound markets end flat

By Abhishek Vasudev
Last updated on: July 24, 2012 16:38 IST
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BSEMarkets ended flat with a positive bias on Tuesday, amid a range bound trading session, as gains in Hindustan Unilever and Reliance Industries helped offset losses in L&T and software majors Wipro and Infosys.

The Sensex advanced 41 points to close at 16,918 and the 50-share Nifty added 10 points and closed at 5,128.

The markets traded in a very tight range in trades today.

The Nifty traded in a range of 40 points and the Sensex 123 points.

Meanwhile, the European markets were also trading on a flat note after Moody's ratings agency cut its outlook for Germany.

Moody's cited the costs associated with a potential Greek exit from the euro zone and the possible need to provide support to Spain and Italy as the reason for the change in outlook for top-rated Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

CAC 40 index was down 4 points at 3,097, DAX was up 3 points at 6,422 and the FTSE was up 3 points at 5,536 levels.

The Asian markets ended on a mixed note on fears that Spain may need a financial bailout., Shanghai Composite closed marginally higher after China's flash factory purchasing managers index rose in July to its highest level since February, boosted by a pick up in output and signs of improvement in new export orders that offered relief to struggling financial markets.

While Nikkei closed lower by 20 points at 8,488 and Taiwan slipped 20 points to close at 7,008.

Back home, Hindustan Unilever was the top gainer among the Sensex stocks.

The stock surged 7.6% to close near its new 52-week high level of Rs 476 after reporting 112% year-on-year (yoy) jump in net profit at Rs 1,331 crore for the quarter ended June 2012, on back of land deals. The core net profit (before accounting for exceptional items) has increased by a 48% to Rs 855 crore during the recently concluded quarter. Revenues grew 14% at Rs 6,250 crore during the quarter under review on yoy basis.

Sterlite Industries, Maruti Suzuki, Bharti Airtel, Gail India, Hindalco, Reliance Industries, ITC and Coal India were also among the gainers, up 0.5-2.7% each.

On the other hand, Wipro was the top loser among the Sensex stocks. It slipped 3% to end at Rs 345 on reporting a lower-than-expected 18% year-on-year growth in net profit at Rs 1,580 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2012

and forecast subdued IT services sales for the current quarter. Analysts, on an average, expected net profit of Rs 1,622 crore from the country's third-largest software firm.

Sun Pharma, Larsen and Toubro, BHEL, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hero MotoCorp, Infosys, Cipla and NTPC were also among the laggards.

Led by gains in the FMCG heavyweight Hindustan Unilever, the BSE FMCG index jumped nearly 2% or 93 points to end at 4,970 levels. Consumer durables, oil & gas, healthcare, PSU and metal indices also ended higher by 0.2-1% each in trades today.

At the same time, capital goods, IT, teck and auto indices ended lower by 0.1-1% each.

Shares of sugar producing companies are in limelight on the bourses in otherwise subdued market after the spot sugar prices increased to a record high on the Vashi wholesale market on heavy demand from stockist.

Inadequate rainfall, rising demand due to forthcoming festivities have caused a rise in the sugar prices.

Lupin moved higher by 2.2% to close at Rs 583, also its lifetime high, on reporting 33% year-on-year (yoy) jump in consolidated net profit at Rs 280 crore for the quarter ended June 2012, on back of healthy sales and higher other income.

Net sales grew 44% at Rs 2,219 crore on y-o-y basis.

eClerx Services soared 11% to Rs 703 on reporting 40% year-on-year (yoy) jump in net profit at Rs 49 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2012, on back of higher operational income.

Wockhardt rallied 5% to Rs 967, also its historic high on back of huge volumes after the overseas investors bought an additional over 2% stake in the company through open market transaction in Q1, taking their total holding to above 5% mark.

Reliance Communications (RCom) ended weaker by 3% at Rs 60, near its record low on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The stock has slipped 7% in past two trading sessions after the debt-laden telecom firm put on hold the $1-1.5 billion initial public offering of its Singapore-based undersea cable unit, Flag Telecom, citing adverse market conditions.

The broader markets also ended on a flat note with BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices ending with marginal gains.

The overall breadth was neutral as 1,396 stocks declined while 1,388 advanced.

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Abhishek Vasudev in New Delhi
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