Geo-political concerns, some disappointing domestic economic data and caution ahead of announcement of quarterly results rendered the market weak for a better part of the last five sessions and resulted in notable losses for the benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty.
The Sensex, which moved past 19,850 earlier in the week, ended the week with a loss of around 120 points or 0.6% at 19,634, while the Nifty declined by 65 points or more than a percent to 5,951.
Besides a host of large cap stocks, several stocks from midcap and smallcap indices tumbled on selling pressure. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices lost around 2.1% last week.
Trading for a better part of the week, was quite lackluster. The market ended flat on Thursday and Friday, despite seeing some hectic buying in early trades. Earlier, after losing some ground on Monday, it rebounded on Tuesday before turning weak again to shed some points in the next session.
Reliance Industries ended lower by about 2.5%. FMCG heavweights Hindustan Unilever and ITC lost more than 6.5% and 3%, respectively. BHEL decliend by over 6%. NTPC ended nearly 4% down and HDFC lost around 3.3%.
Some top rung metal stocks including, Tata Steel, Jindal Steel & Power, Hindalco and Sterlite Industries declined sharply, ending the week with losses ranging from 2.5% to 6%.
Infosys sizzled on Friday, after the company came out with better than expected quarterly results and an encouraging earnings guidance. The stock ended with a hefty gain of around 15.5% that day.
Infosys Limited reported a net profit of Rs 2265 crore for the quarter ended December 2012, as compared to a net profit of Rs 2235 crore it had recorded in the previous quarter. However, the standalone revenue for the third quarter rose by 8.3%. The company reported a revenue of Rs 9,878 crore as compared to Rs 9,118 crore in the corresponding period a year ago.
The IT major has forecast a revenue of around Rs 40,746 crore for fiscal year ending March 2013, higher than its September guidance of Rs 39,582 crore. The company has forecast earnings per share to be at least Rs 162.80 for the current fiscal, again higher than its September forecast.
Along with Infosys, several other IT stocks, including Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro, Tech Mahindra and Mphasis, rose sharply on Friday and ended the week on a firm note.
Automobile stocks turned in a mixed performance. Tata Motors moved up by nearly 5%, thanks to a rating upgrade of the stock. Maruti Suzuki moved higher, while Mahindra & Mahindra closed on a weak note.
Bank stocks had some good spells in positive territory, but mostly ended on the negative side. Among sector heavyweights, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank closed weak, while State Bank of India edged up marginally.
PSU oil & gas exploration major ONGC gained 2.5%. Pharmaceuticals stocks saw some buying during the week. However, most of the front line stocks in that space, failed to hold at higher levels. Cipla and Sun Pharmaceuticals ended with moderate gains.
According to the data released by the government on Friday, India's merchandise exports fell 1.92% year on year to $24.877 billion in December 2012. Imports rose 6.26% to $42.549 billion in the month. Oil imports jumped 23.56% to $14.429 billion whereas non-oil imports fell 0.87% to $28.119 billion. Trade deficit surged to $17.671 billion in December 2012 from $14.678 billion in December 2011.
Earlier in the day, the Central Statistics Office announced that industrial production declined 0.1% in November 2012. The output was 8.2% in October. While manufacturing sector saw a growth of 0.3% as compared to 6.6% (year-on-year), capital goods and mining sectors contracted by 7.7% and 5.5% respectively, as against a contraction of 4.7% and a growth of 3.5%, respectively in the year ago period.
Meanwhile, the government revised upwards industrial production growth for October 2012 to 8.34% from 8.21% reported earlier.