Recording losses on four of the five sessions, due largely on concerns the Reserve Bank of India may not cut policy rates next Tuesday (19 March), the market ended the week (March 11-15, 2013) on a dismal note, with several front line stocks posting sharp losses.
While the BSE benchmark Sensex ended the week with a loss of around 256 points or 1.3% at 19,428, the Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed lower by 73 points or 1.2% at 5873. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices lsot 1.6% and 2.4%, respectively.
But for some sustained buying by foreign - they have bought shares worth a net Rs 5440 crore in March (till 14th) - the market would have ended the week with far sharper losses.
On the economic front, the annual rate of inflation, based on the monthly wholesale price index, edged up to 6.84% in February 2013 from 6.62% in January 2013, according to the data released by the government on Thursday (14 March). The government revised upwards WPI inflation for December 2012 to 7.31% from 7.18% reported earlier.
The non-food manufacturing inflation or core inflation eased to the lowest level in almost 3 years at 3.8% in February 2013, from 4.1% in January 2013, the latest data showed.
Earlier on Tuesday, the government released the industrial production data for January 2013. According to the report, industrial production rose 2.4% in January 2013, as against a contraction of 0.5% in December 2012. The manufacturing sector registered a growth of 2.7% in January 2013, electricity generation rose 6.4%, while mining output declined 2.9% in January 2013. Capital goods production declined 1.8% in January 2013. The consumer non-durables sector registered a growth of 5.3% in January 2013. The production of consumer durables registered a decline of 0.9%.
India's merchandise exports rose 4.23% to $26.259 billion in February 2013, data released by the government showed. Imports rose 2.65% to $41.181 billion in February 2013.
The week started off on a weak note for the market following the RBI governor Subba Rao expressing concerns about high inflation. A weak trend in European markets too hurt sentiment to an extent. However, losses were just modest as stocks found some support at lower levels. While the Sensex ended the day with a loss of around 37 points, the Nifty ended just marginally down.
On Tuesday, the Sensex and Nifty ended lower by 81 points and 28 points, respectively, after moving in a hightly listless way almost right through the session,
Tracking weak global cues, the market ended sharply lower on Wednesday. While the Sensex lost around 202 points, the Nifty closed 63 points down that day..
After three days of losses, the market saw some hectic buying on Thursday, buoyed by a fairly encouraging data on core inflation. The Sensex spurted 208 points and the Nifty closed higher by 58 points.
Despite a positive start, stocks plunged on Friday, as doubts about a rate cut, reports that the finance ministry and the RBI were looking into allegations of money lanudering by some top private sector banks, and weak European markets triggered a sell-off. The Sensex ended 143 points down and the Nifty closed with a loss of over 36 points.
Bank stocks ICICI Bank (down 6.8%), HDFC Bank (down 2.6%) and Axis Bank (down 4.6%) saw some heavy selling on the final two sessions, amid reports of alleged money laundering activities.
Automobile stocks Bajaj Auto (down nearly 8%), Tata Motors (down 4%), Hero Motocorp (down 3.5%) and Maruti Suzuki (down 1.2%) ended notably lower. However, Mahindra & Mahindra bucked the trend and ended 2.8% up.
Infosys declined nearly 3% despite some positive news. The company announced last week that Dentsu's Global Project team has selected Infosys Edge to deliver a single, unified platform for driving projects and campaigns spanning multiple countries and regions. On Thursday, the IT major announced that it has been selected by BMW Group as its worldwide partner for application basis infrastructure management services.
Hindustan Unilever, ITC, Tata Power, State Bank of India and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries ended with smart gains.