Buoyed by strong results from IT major Tata Consultancy Services, the Indian stock market opened on a firm note on Friday, but then, turned quite choppy as the session progressed with investors turning cautious ahead of some key quarterly earnings reports.
Information technology stocks traded firm right through the session. After a slightly cautious start, automobile stocks gained in strength. Select stocks from the oil space moved up as well.
However, shares from capital goods, power, banking and realty sectors drifted lower as investors chose to trim down positions amid lingering worries about near term economic outlook. The Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, speaking at the inagural session of the annual meet of ASSOCHAM, said it may not be possible to achieve growth target of 6.5% for the current financial year. However, he said he hopes the economy will rebound soon as the government is keen on ushering in more FDI reforms and bank licences.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which rose to 20,256.60 in morning trade, ended with a modest gain of 21.44 points or 0.11% at 20,149.85, nearly 40 points off the day's low of 20,111.13.
The National Stock Exchange's 50-stock Nifty index ended on the negative side at 6029.20, recording a loss of 8.85 points or 0.15%. The Nifty touched a high of 6066.85 earlier in the day.
Besides Tata Consultancy Services, automobile major Bajaj Auto and housing finance firm HDFC also came out with impressive results. While TCS ended the day on a high note, gaining about 5%, and Bajaj Auto (3.7%) too trended higher post results, HDFC declined and ended on the negative side with a loss of around 2.3%.
Tata Consultancy Services announced after trading hours on Thursday that its net profit for the quarter ended 30 June 2012 rose to Rs 3831 crore, up 15.7% from the prior corresponding quarter. Revenue increased to Rs 17,987 crore, up 9.5% from the previous quarter, and operating profit surged 12% to Rs 4847 crore sequentially.
Bajaj Auto reported a flat first-quarter profit that matched expectations as its exports benefited from a weaker rupee, offsetting sluggish sales volumes. The company posted a net profit of Rs 738 crore for the quarter that ended in June compared with Rs 718 crore a year ago. Net sales rose 2% percent to Rs 4,809 crore.
HDFC posted a net profit of Rs 1173.10 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2013 as compared to Rs 1001.91 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2012. On consolidated basis, HDFC posted a net profit of Rs 1707.10 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2013 as compared to Rs 1275.86 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2012.
Infosys (1.7%), Wipro (1.5%), HCL Technologies (4%), Tech Mahindra (3.6%) and Hexaware Technologies (1.2%) moved higher. MindTree (3.1%) ended on a high note thanks to impressive results.
Hero MotoCorp and Tata Motors gained 2.7% and 2.6%, respectively. Mahindra & Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki, which turned subdued after a bright spell, ended with modest gains.
GAIL India, Bharti Airtel and Coal India gained 1.8% - 2.5%. Reliance Industries edged up 0.7% amid cautious trade ahead of results. ONGC, Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Cipla closed with modest gains. NMDC, Cairn India, Lupin and BPCL also ended on a firm note.
BHEL declined by over 9%. IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Kotak Bank and Jindal Steel & Power lost 3% - 4%.
Sesa Goa, Jaiprakash Associates, ICICI Bank, IDFC, DLF, Tata Steel, NTPC, Ambuja Cements, Larsen & Toubro, Punjab National Bank, Asian Paints, State Bank of India, Hindustan Unilever and Tata Power closed with sharp to moderate losses.
Mastek plunged sharply after the company reported a sharp 65% drop in net profit for the quarter ended June 2013. Uco Bank ended with a sharp loss following the bank's net NPA surging higher in the April - June 2013 quarter.
VA Tech Wabag, Bayer Crop and Hanung Toys moved higher stock specific stories.
The market breadth was slightly weak. Out of 2487 stocks traded on BSE, 1310 stocks declined. 1033 stocks moved up and 144 stocks ended flat.