The market opened on a bright note, 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 today, as the heavyweight stock stood firm on sustained buying support.
Asian markets ended on a mixed note, but a fairly steady trend in major European markets helped keep sentiment positive till the end. Besides oil stocks, shares from capital goods, FMCG and power sectors had a good outing today. Metal, information technology and bank stocks ended on a mixed note. Automobile stocks too turned in a mixed performance. Healthcare and realty stocks closed weak.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which rose to 20,163.38 in early trades, ended the day at 20,101.82, recording a gain of 62.78 points or 0.31%. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed with a gain of 17.90 points or 0.3% at 6082.30, off the day's high of 6094.35.
Reliance Industries started off on a high note and despite giving up a substantial portion of its gains, ended the day 2.4% up from its previous closing price. After trading hours on Friday (18 January 2013), Reliance Industries announced that its net profit jumped 23.9% to Rs 5502 crore on 10.1% growth in turnover to Rs 96,307 crore in the October - December 2012 quarter, as compared to the prior corresponding quarter. The company's gross refining margin rose to $9.6 a barrel in the third quarter of financial year 2012-2013, as compared to $6.8 a barrel in the corresponding quarter last year.
BHEL notched up a gain of 2.3%. Larsen & Toubro moved up by 2%. Maruti Suzuki (1.9%), Bharti Airtel (1.85%), Dr Reddy's Laboratories (1.7%), ITC (1.3%), Hindustan Unilever (1.2%) and GAIL India (1.2%) also closed notably higher.
Reliance Infrastructure, up 4%, was the top gainer in the Nifty index. HCL Technologies, BPCL, Jaiprakash Associates, Cairn India, Ultratech Cement, Lupin and IDFC also closed on a firm note.
HDFC ended lower by over 1.5%. The company announced that it posted a net profit of Rs 1140.10 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 as compared to Rs 981.25 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2011. Total income increased from Rs 4472.51 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2011 to Rs 5250.40 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2012.
Realty stock DLF lost around 2.5%. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Tata Consultancy Services and Cipla lost 1.2% - 2%. HDFC Bank, Grasim Industries, Power Grid Corporation, Coal India, ACC, Asian Paints and Bank of Baroda also closed weak.
Aurobindo Pharma moved up following the company bagging USFDA approvals for a couple of drugs. Finolex Industries and Matek moved higher on strong results.
The market breadth was slightly weak. Out of 3021 stocks traded on BSE, 1514 stocks declined. 1370 stocks moved up and 137 stocks ended flat.