The Indian stock market started off on a buoyant note this morning with oil stocks leading the charge in early trades. Though the market retreated from the day's high and moved in a listless way thereafter, the benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty still managed to end the session on a positive note, thanks to some front line power, realty and PSU stocks too moving higher, along with oil stocks.
Bank and FMCG stocks mostly ended flat. Healthcare, consumer durables, metal, automobile and information technology stocks ended weak.
Quarterly results from India Inc. were mostly impressive, but a section of investors appeared keen on taking some profits, perhaps feeling the market has run up fairly sharply over the past few sessions.
The Sensex, which spurted to 20,126.55, ended the day with a gain of 75.01 points or 0.38% at 20,039.04. The Nifty closed at 6064.40, nearly 20 points off the day's high of 6083.40, recording a gain of 25.20 points or 0.42%. The Sensex and Nifty hit their highest levels since 7 January 2011 and 6 January 2011, respectively.
Shares of state-run oil firms flared up at the stroke of the opening bell following a hike in disel prices after the government allowed oil firms to revise disel prices peridodically. And, most of these stocks ended the day on a firm note, retaining a substantial portion of their gains thanks to sustained buying support.
ONGC ended 7.3% up. Indian Oil Corporation (10.5%), BPCL (9.7%), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (5%) and Oil India (9%) also closed with hefty gains. GAIL India ended more than 2% up, and Reliance Industries gained a little over 1%, amid cautious traded ahead of announcement of results.
NTPC ended 4.6% up. Maruti Suzuki gained around 3.3%. HDFC and Tata Power gained over 1.5%. ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Coal India, Cipla, Larsen & Toubro and Hindalco also ended on a firm note.
ITC moved up by 0.7%. The FMCG major reported a 20.62% jump in net profit at Rs 2051.85 crore for the quarter ended 31 Decemeber 2012, from the prior corresponding quarter. Total sales rose 23.1% to Rs 7627.07 crore in the December 2012 quarter.
Bank of Baroda, Power Grid Corporation, IDFC and DLF gained 1.4% - 2.4%. Siemens, Kotak Bank, Punjab National Bank and HCL Technologies ended with modest gains.
Wipro ended lower by over 8%. Wipro announced before trading hours that its net profit as per International Financial Reporting Standards rose 18% to Rs 1716 crore on 10% growth in total revenue to Rs 11,025 crore in the December 2012 quarter, over the corresponding quarter last year.
Hero Motocorp lost 2.6% following the company reporting a 20% drop in earnings in the quarter ended December 2012. Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Jindal Steel & Power and Hindustan Unilever lost 2% - 2.6%.
Jaiprakash Associates, Mahindra & Mahindra, Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Sesa Goa, Tata Steel, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and Grasim Industries lost 1% - 1.8%.
HDFC Bank ended lower by 1.1%. The private sector bank posted a 30.03% rise in net profit at Rs 1859.07 crore for the quarter ended December 2012, as compared to the corresponding quarter last fiscal.
Exide Industries, M&M Financial Services and Hindustan Zinc saw some selling due to weak results. Essar Oil moved up smartly on turnaround third quarter results.
The market breadth was weak. Out of 3071 stocks traded on BSE, 1331 stocks declined. 971 stocks moved up and 769 stocks ended flat.