It's a cautious and subdued start for stocks on the Indian bourses on Thursday with investors mostly staying away from any significant buying, choosing to wait for fresh signals. Quarterly results are giving some cues, and movements at a few front line counters are a bit listless due to expiry of near month derivatives contracts later in the day.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which declined to around 19,910 in early trades, is now at 20,079.97, down 10.71 points or 0.05% from its previous close. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange is down 5.25 points or 0.09% at 5985.25, off an early low of 5967.65.
FMCG, consumer durables, power, metal and capital goods stocks are trading weak. Healthcare, realty and information technology stocks are trading mixed, while oil, bank and automobile stocks are finding some support.
BHEL is trading lower by over 2%. Jindal Steel & Power and ITC are down more than 1%. Hindustan Unilever, Hindalco, Tata Power, Coal India, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Tata Motors, Sterlite Industries and GAIL India are down 0.3% - 1%.
Ambuja Cements has plunged more than 12% to Rs 166.80 due to weak results. Ambuja Cements' net profit fell 30.85% to Rs 324.20 crore on 7.64% decline in total income to Rs 2450.87 crore in the quarter ended June 2013, as compared to the corresponding quarter last year.
Jaiprakash Associates is trading lower by over 4%. ACC (down 3.7%), Ultratech Cement (down 1.7%) and Grasim Industries (down 0.6%) are also trading weak.
Hero Motocorp is up 4.5% at Rs 1833 despite the company reporting a 10.8% decline in net profit for the quarter ended 30 June 2013. The company attributed the fall in profit to higher tax rate on account of the expiry of 5 years of 100% exemption in Haridwar, where its largest-producing manufacturing plant is located.
Bank of Baroda, ONGC, IndusInd Bank, Punjab National Bank, IDFC, Axis Bank, Cipla, Kotak Bank, Asian Paints, Reliance Infrastructure and Maruti Suzuki are up 1% - 2.2%.
Ranbaxy Laboratories, Infosys, HCL Technologies, HDFC, Lupin and Mahindra & Mahindra are also trading in positive territory with notable gains.