Weekly Wrap: Sensex, Nifty post modest gains

Last Updated: Sat, Jan 26, 2013 04:35 hrs

Fairly strong results from some top notch companies, expectations of a rate cut announcement from the Reserve Bank of India and heavy buying by foreign institutional investors lifted the key stock indices Sensex and Nifty to higher levels during the week ended 25 January 2013.

Recording gains on three of the five sessions, the Sensex ended the week at 20,104, gaining around 65 points or 0.3%. The Nifty closed the week with a marginal gain of 10.25 points or 0.16% at 6074.65.

Though large cap stocks found support, midcap and smallcap stocks ended the week sharply lower, despite seeing a bright spell on the final session. The BSE Midcap index lost around 2.7%, while the Smallcap barometer lost a little over 3%.

The market opened on a bright note on Monday, buoyed by strong results from Reliance Industries, and despite coming off its higher levels, managed to hold on in positive territory and sign off with moderate gains. The Sensex ended the day with a gain of 63 points, while the Nifty moved up by about 18 points.

After a cautious and listless start, the market kept losing ground on Tuesday as investors indulged in some profit taking. While the Sensex lost 120 points, the Nifty closed lower by 34 points that day.

After a highly choppy ride, the indices closed higher on Wednesday, but turned weak the following day due to profit taking. Finally, hopes of a rate cut and some encouraging results from India Inc lifted the market on Friday, enabling the indices to round off the week with modest gains.

Among Sensex stocks, Reliance Industries ended higher by nearly 1.5%. The stock zoomed to a 52-week high on Monday following the company reporting a near 24% surge in net profit for the quarter ended 31 December 2012. The company's gross refining margin rose to $9.6 a barrel in the December 2012 quarter, from $6.8 a barrel in the corresponding quarter last year.

ITC moved up by over 4%, with strong results posted by the company prompting investors to lap up the stock. However, the other FMCG heavyweight in the Sensex, Hindustan Unilever, ended the week with a loss of around 3%, following a smaller than expected surge in net profit in the October - December quarter.

Among banking sector heavyweights, State Bank of India and HDFC Bank posted modest gains, while ICICI Bank edged down marginally.

Despite a good run on the final session, Tata Motors lost over 8% last week, as it suffered a severe setback on Thursday after Jaguar Land Rover warned of lower profits for the quarter ended December 2012.

Maruti Suzuki ended more than 3.5% up, thanks largely to the company reporting storng results for the quarter ended 31 December 2012. Mahindra & Mahindra gained around 1.5%.

Engineering & construction giant Larsen & Toubro reported a 13% rise in net profit at Rs 1122 crore for the October - December quarter, resulting in the stock finishing the week with a gain of over 4.5%.

Thanks to some upbeat data from the U.S., information technology stocks saw some bright spells during the week. Among sector heavyweights, Wipro jumped 2.3% and Infosys gained nearly a percent, while Tata Consultancy Services lost about a percent.

Telecom stocks saw some good spells in positive territory after the government significantly reduced spectrum auction prices. Bharti Airtel moved up by over 3%.

Pharma stocks Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and Dr Reddy's Laboratories, PSU power equipment maker BHEL and steel stock Jindal Steel & Power posted strong gains.

Among the losers in the Sensex, GAIL India ended nearly 8% down. Coal India, Hindalco, NTPC and Cipla also closed sharply lower last week.

In a signifiant move, the central bank raised the ceiling of FII investments in government securities and corporate debt.

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