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Sensex ends flat; RIL may lift market on Friday

This article was posted on Jan 22, 2009 and is filed under Market Outlook

MUMBAI: Indian equity benchmarks ended flat on Thursday after stock specific movement backed by earnings. Markets were marred by lack of participation as traders expected disappointing quarterly results from oil&gas major Reliance Industries. However, RIL earnings beat market expectations and traders may cover their shorts pushing the indices higher on Friday.

The company reported 9.8 per cent dip in net profit at Rs 3501 crore for the quarter ended Dec 31, 2008 against Rs 3882 crore same quarter year ago. Net sales was down 8.8 per cent at Rs 31,563 crore for quarter against Rs 34,590 crore in the same quarter year ago. The gross refining margin was $10 per barrel, on expected lines.

“Everybody was waiting for Reliance results which turned out to be better than expected. Provided international markets don’t see any exceptional sell-off, we may see a better opening (Friday). Investors should stick to buying in top 10 index stocks and not venture beyond that,” said Rajesh Baheti, managing director, Crossseas Capital Services.

Equities opened higher in line with global markets but turned volatile. Indices showed knee-jerk reaction to inflation numbers in a trade which was dominated by corporate earnings. Bharti Airtel moved up after reporting results in line with expectations, while Zee Entertainment, United Spirits, Kotak Mahindra Bank plunged on disappointing results.

Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensex closed at 8813.84, up 34.67 points or 0.39 per cent. The index touched a high of 8927.69 and low of 8699.32 intraday.

National Stock Exchange’s Nifty ended at 2713.80, up 7.65 points or 0.28 per cent. The broader index touched an intra-day high of 2744.85 and low of 2681.40.

Selling pressure was seen in second rung stocks. The BSE Midcap Index fell 2.07 and BSE Smallcap Index was down 2.01 per cent.

Bharti Airtel reported net profit of Rs 2017.29 crore for the December quarter of 2008 compared with Rs 1419.84 crore in the same quarter year ago. Total income increased to Rs 8850.25 crore in the Oct-Dec quarter of 2008 from Rs 6682.57 crore same period a year ago.

Ranbaxy Laboratories posted a net loss of Rs 806.55 crore for the quarter ended Dec 31, 2008 against a net profit of Rs 48.40 crore in the same quarter of 2007. Total income increased to Rs 1,074.51 crore from Rs 1,038.11 crore in the quarter ended Dec 31, 2007.

Educomp Solutions surged 16.15 per cent to close at Rs 1,782.80. The stock has been under heavy selling pressure in the recent past for alleged reports that the company’s accounts have been fudged. The company filed a complaint with the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi police, saying such reports have been circulated to manipulate the stock price.

Bharti Airtel (6.19%), Grasim Industries (3.05%), Sun Pharmaceuticals (2.78%), Sterlite Industries (2.66%) and ICICI Bank (2.53%) were the top Sensex gainers.

DLF (-9.36%), Ranbaxy Laboratories (-8.89%), Hindalco Industries (-7.49%), Reliance Infrastructure (-6.15%) and Tata Motors (-5.21%) ended with maximum losses.

Market breadth was negative on the BSE with 1661 declines and 739 advances.

source: Economictimes

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