The market had a couple of good sessions during the week ended January 16, first on Wednesday when index heavyweights, shares of Anil and Mukesh Ambani group companies in particular, flared up on frenzied buying, and then on Friday as firm global sentiment triggered some strong buying across the board.
The Sensex gained around 300 points and 90 points respectively on those two sessions, but it still ended the week on the negative side at 9323.59, lower by around 0.88% or 82.88 points than its previous week's closing mark.
The Nifty ended the week at 2828.45 with a loss of 44.55 points or 1.55%. Mirroring weakness exhibited by stocks in midcap and smallcap segments, the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices lost around 3% and 4% respectively.
Among the major factors that weighed down the sentiment was the sharp fall in earnings of some US financial majors. US and Asian markets were seen struggling during the earlier part of the week. Concerns over corporate governance issues following the startling disclosure of some accounting irregularities in Satyam Computer Services and the subsequent developments in the company played a role in directing price movements last week.
Infosys Technologies reported better-than-expected numbers for the October - December 2008 quarter, even as it lowered its guidance for the full financial year. TCS fell short. Among other index majors, HDFC Bank's results were strong but the bank's NPA rose sharply.
On the economic front, inflation fell again. Inflation for the year through January 3, 2009, fell to 5.24% from 5.91% in the previous week. India's industrial output for the month of November showed a marked rise.
It was a bad start for the market last week with weak global markets and concerns over corporate governance issues hit the sentiment on Monday. As blue chips, led by heavyweight stocks, tumbled on selling pressure, the Sensex went down by nearly 300 points that day. The Nifty lost almost 100 points.
The market opened well on Tuesday, thanks to quarterly numbers from Infosys, but lost its way as the session progressed. After a highly choppy ride, the Sensex closed with a loss of around 39 points and the Nifty eased by 28 points on that session.
Though Infosys Technologies romped home with an impressive gain, sharp losses posted by Reliance Industries and banking sector heavyweights dragged the Sensex down.
On Wednesday, rumours of a patch up between the warring Ambani brothers Mukesh and Anil triggered hectic buying in shares of the companies owned by them.
The sharp rally in Reliance group stocks had a positive impact on the overall mood and the market recorded a spectacular surge in the closing minutes of trade that day. The BSE 30-share Sensex surged 299.13 points or 3.30% at 9370.49. The S&P CNX Nifty gained 90.35 points or 3.29% at 2835.30.
The market went crashing down on Thursday on weak global cues. While the Sensex tumbled by nearly 325 points, the Nifty lost close to 100 points in that session.
Amid hopes that the US government would speed up the process of rescuing the ailing US financial sector, the bulls stormed back to the ring and lapped up front line stocks on Friday. Trading firm right through the session, the Sensex moved up by over 275 points that day and the Nifty ended stronger by around 92 points.
From the Sensex pack, only 9 stocks ended the week on the positive side. IT bellwether Infosys Technologies moved up by over 6% to Rs 1268.25. Reliance Industries surged 5.9%. Reliance Infrastructure and Mahindra & Mahindra gained 4.8% and 4.2% respectively. Tata Power gained 3.3%.
Sun Pharmaceuticals, which replaced Satyam Computer Services in the Sensex, ended the week with a modest gain of 1.6%. ITC also moved up by 1.6%. NTPC and Maruti Suzuki closed with marginal gains.
HCL Technologies (10.4%), Hero Honda (5.3%) and GAIL India (2.5%) were the prominent gainers in the Nifty. BPCL edged up by around 1.2%.
Among the losers from the Sensex, realty major DLF suffered the most as it went down by 10.3% to Rs 195.20. HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank, the private sector heavyweights, lost 7.5% and 6.8% respectively. Tata Consultancy Services lost a little over 6%. Tata Motors eased by 6%. Grasim Industries and Wipro ended lower by 5.9% and 5.1% respectively.
HDFC, Hindalco, Tata Steel, Sterlite Industries and Hindustan Unilever lost nearly 5% last week. State Bank of India declined 4.1%. Jaiprakash Associates, ONGC and Reliance Communications lost 3.6%, 3.3% and 2.2% respectively. BHEL and Bharti Airtel finished with moderate losses while Ranbaxy Laboratories, Larsen & Toubro and ACC ended marginally lower.
Unitech lost over 18%. Siemens ended with a big loss of 10.7%. Cairn India, ABB, Zee Entertainment, Punjab National Bank, Reliance Power, Idea Cellular and Tata Communications weakened by 5% - 7%. Suzlon Energy, Power Grid Corporation, Ambuja Cements and Reliance Petroleum also ended weak.
Rolta India went tumbling down by over 23% on rumours of a heavy sell-off by a financial institution with whom the management has pledged its shares. Sintex Industries lost around 23%. India Bulls Financial Services drifted down by 22.5%. Pantaloon Retail lost 20.9%.
GE Shipping, Jai Corp, Gammon India, Aban Offshore, Bank of Baroda, India Bulls Securities, Reliance Capital, Voltas, Hindustan Construction Company, Bharat Forge, Bank of India, Divi's Laboratories, Hindustan Zinc, Axis Bank, Gujarat Minerals, Kotak Bank, MMTC and India Cements were among the other prominent losers last week.
Among the sectoral indices, BSE IT (2.49%), Oil & Gas (2.7%), Auto (1.13%), CD (0.59%) and Teck (0.48%) ended higher. The Realty index lost 7.53%. The Bankex fell 6.38%. BSE Metal and Capital Goods indices slipped by 4.01% and 2.44% respectively. BSE PSU lost 1.9% while the FMCG, Healthcare and Power barometers drifted down by 0.65% - 0.75%.