The Indian stock market posted solid gains during the truncated week (April 22-26, 2013), with investors indulging in some strong buying, betting on hopes the central bank will cut interest rate following a significant drop in wholesale price inflation in March. Some impressive results from India Inc., strong inflow of funds from foreign institutional investors and a fairly steady trend in global markets too contributed to the upmove.
While the BSE benchmark Sensex ended the week with a gain of around 270 points or 1.4% at 19,287, the broader Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange moved up by 88 points or 1.5% to 5872. With investors largely tuning in to large caps, midcap and smallcap stocks were mostly subdued during the week. While the BSE Midcap index gained a little over 0.9%, the Smallcap barometer advanced by 0.8%.
According to the data available from the exchanges, FIIs have bought shares worth over Rs 3000 crore in the current calendar month. Till the middle of last week, FIIs were net buyers to the tune of over Rs 58,500 crore this calendar year.
It was a firm start for the market last week with the Sensex gaining more than 150 points on strong global cues on Monday. The Nifty moved up by 51.30 points. However, gains were just marginal in the next session, as stocks swung between gains and losses amid an extremely choppy ride.
After a holiday on Wednesday (due to Mahavir Jayanti), the market opened on a bright note on Thursday, due largely to the data that showed a hefty inflow of funds from FIIs on the previous trading session. Aided by impressive gains posted by heavyweights, the Sensex vaulted 227 points that day, recording its best close since mid March 2013. The Nifty ended the day with a gain of nearly 80 points.
Stocks retreated on Friday as investors chose to book some profits after recent gains. A sell-off in European markets too contributed to the decline. The BSE barometer ended the final session with a loss of around 120 points, while the Nifty ended lower by around 45 points.
Reliance Industries saw some bright spells during the week and added 1.5%. On Tuesday, Reliance Jio Infocomm and telecom major Bharti Airtel signed an agreement for international data connectivity under which Bharti will provide Reliance Jio data capacity on its i2i submarine cable. The high speed link will enable Reliance Jio to extend its work and service reach to customers across Asia Pacific region.
Following the development, Bharti Airtel shares attracted buyers and moved up sharply, gaining over 6% for the week.
Housing finance stock HDFC ended 6.6% up. Coal India also moved up by over 6.5%. GAIL India posted a gain of ovder 5.5% and ITC ended 1.3% up. Among pharma majors, Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries gained more than 4%, and posted new highs in the process.
Power major NTPC ended stronger by a little over 6%. Strong quarterly results lifted HDFC Bank by 2.3%. The private sector bank reported a 30% jump in net profit to Rs 1889.84 crore for the quarter ended March 2013. ICICI Bank gained nearly 2%. The bank said its net profit rose 21% in the March quarter, on a 10.3% jump in total income.
Automobile major Maruti Suzuki gained almost 10% for the week, thanks to buoyant quarterly results. On Friday, the company said its net profit, excluding the effect of the merger of Suzuki Powertrain India, jumped nearly 80% to Rs 1147.50 crore on 9.4% rise in net sales to Rs 12,566.60 crore in the January - March 2013 quarter, over the corresponding quarter last year.
Hero Motocorp gained over 6% and Bajaj Auto ended nearly 6% up. Tata Motors moved up by nearly 5%. The company's subsidiary Tata Technologies announced on Friday that it has signed definitive agreements for the acquisition of US-based Cambric Corporation, a premier engineering services company providing turnkey engineering services to its customers.
Among the prominent losers, Jindal Steel & Power declined 6.5% following a significant fall in net profit in the January - March 2013 quarter. Hindustan Unilever and ONGC lost 3.7% and 3%, respectively.
Information technology stocks mostly ended week, with some disappointing economic data from the U.S. hurting sentiment. A weak earnings forecast triggered a sell-off at the Wipro counter, sending the stock down by over 10% last week. Tata Consultancy Services ended lower by about 5.7%, while Infosys declined by 3.6%.
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council released a report. The report said India's GDP will grow 6.4% in the fiscal year 2013-14, higher than an estimated 5% growth for the fiscal year 2012-13. The PMEAC expects WPI inflation to be around 6% by the end of the financial year, as compared with the provisional figure of 5.96% for 2012-2013.