Despite weak global cues and somewhat disappointing quarterly results from Reliance Industries, the Indian stock market ended on a firm note on Monday, due largely to some hectic buying in the information technology space.
A few frontline stocks from banking, realty, automobile, power and FMCG sectors too moved up sharply. Capital goods, healthcare and consumer durables stocks turned in a mixed performance, while oil stocks mostly traded weak.
After opening modestly higher, the market retreated a bit, but gained in strength as the session progressed.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which close to 21,221.37, ended the day at 21,205.05, recording a gain of 141.43 points or 0.67%. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange settled at 6303.95, slightly off the day's high of 6307.45, gaining 42.30 points or 0.68%.
In the forex market, the rupee opened at 61.67 against the U.S. dollar, as compared to Friday's close of 61.55 a dollar. The rupee subsequently recovered some lost ground and was hovering around 61.60 against the greenback.
Tata Consultancy Services, which ended 5.6% up, was the top gainer in the Sensex pack. Wipro moved up by over 3.75% and Infosys, which was quite subdued for much of the trading session, ended 0.6% up.
On Friday, IT major Wipro reported a 4.28% rise in consolidated net profit to Rs 2014.70 crore for the quarter ended 31 December 2013, on a 3.06% surge in total income. IT services revenues in rupee terms came in at Rs 10,330 crore in the December 2013 quarter, up 20% from the prior corresponding quarter.
Wipro expects revenues from IT services business to be in the range of $1,712 million to $1,745 million including the revenues from its acquisition.
HCL Technologies, NIIT Technologies, CMC, Hexaware Technologies, Tech Mahindra, Rolta India, Mphasis, MindTree and Oracle Financial Services also ended with strong gains.
Automobile stocks Tata Motors, Mahendra & Mahendra and Hero Motocorp gained 0.5% to 1.5%. Sesa Sterilite, ITC, BHEL, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Hindalco and Cipla too ended on a firm note.
IndusInd Bank, Ambuja Cements, Power Grid Corporation, IDFC, Punjab National Bank, Ranbaxy Laboratories and BPCL closed with sharp to moderate gains.
Reliance Industries ended 1.9% down with weak results triggering some selling at the counter. Reliance Industries reported after trading hours on Friday (17 January 2014) that its consolidated net profit rose 0.2% to Rs 5511 crore on 10.5% growth in revenue to Rs 1,06,383 crore in the October - December 2013 quarter, over the corresponding quarter last fiscal. RIL's profit before depreciation, interest and taxation declined 1.8% to Rs 9927 crore in the December 2013 quarter from the year ago period, while other income surged up 32.47% to Rs 2306 crore in the said quarter.
The company's gross refining margin for the December 2013 quarter declined to $7.6 a barrel from $7.7 a barrel in the previous quarter and $9.6 a barrel in the October - December 2012 quarter
Tata Power, Grasim Industries, Bharti Airtel, NMDC, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, GAIL India, HDFC, Tata Steel, Hindustan Unilever and ONGC also closed weak.
Tata Sponge, Dewan Housing, PTC India and Nucleus Software surged higher on impressive quarterly results. Ultra Tech Cement traded flat on weak results. Subex and IVRCL moved up on bagging new orders.
Biocon surged higher following an announcement from the company that it will start selling a breast cancer drug, developed jointly with US-based Mylan, in the country from next month.
Reliance MediaWorks rose sharply ahead of the company's board meeting to consider delisting of equity shares of the company. Reliance MediaWorks announced after market hours on Friday, 17 January 2014 that its board of directors would meet on 20 January 2014, to consider delisting of equity shares of the company from the Stock Exchanges. Promoters owned 73.3% stake in Reliance MediaWorks as on 30 September 2013.
The market breadth was slightly positive. Out of 2797 stocks traded on BSE, 1407 stocks moved up. 1238 stocks declined and 152 stocks ended flat.