Benchmark share indices ended flat amid a volatile trading session on Friday, tracking weak global cues, as gains in FMCG and software shares helped offset most of the losses in rate-sensitives. The BSE benchmark index, Sensex closed at 17,558 down three points and the Nifty too gave off three points to settle at 5,320.
Earlier in the day, the Sensex saw a low of 17,471 in the afternoon deals but recovered to touch a high of 17,590 in the last hour of trading.
In the broader markets, the smallcap index slipped 0.3% and underperformed the Sensex and the midacp index which closed flat.
Asian markets closed on a mixed note. Japan's Nikkei share average fell as investors lacked fresh incentives to buy dropping 1% to 8,891 points. The Hang Seng Index closed down 0.7% at 20,136 points and the Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.2 percent on the day. On the other hand, Kospi Composite, Jakarta Composite and KLSE Composite gained 0.2-0.3%.
European shares fell on Friday after a five-day winning streak as weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data hit equity markets.CAC and DAX slipped 0.8% and 0.3% respectively while FTSE was flat with a negative bias.
On a positive note, Foreign institutional investors have been acting "fairly bullish" in Indian stocks, judging by their $11 billion in inflows into equities so far this year, but they have played it safe, according to a Citigroup study of their shareholdings. Citigroup says foreigners portfolios are positioned for higher markets, tilting towards cyclical stocks, including banks, consumer discretionary and industrials. However, they have trimmed their bigger overweights such as financials and industrials, as well as some of their underweights such as IT services and energy.
Back home, among the sectoral indices, Consumer Durable, Auto, Bankex and PSU indices lost 1% each. Realty, Health Care and Power indices down between 0.2-0.7% were the other notable losers. On the other hand, IT, FMCG and Oil & Gas indices gained 0.3-1%.
SBI was the top Sensex loser, down nearly 4% after India’s largest bank said its net non-performing assets surged 28% to Rs 20,321 crore for the quarter ended June 2012 from Rs 15,818 crore at the end of March 2012. The gross NPA rose to 4.99% in Q1FY13 from 4.44% in Q4FY12. Meanwhile, UBS downgraded State Bank of India to "sell" from "buy", saying a weak monsoon would add to its "already high" non-performing loans. HDFC Bank,HDFC down by 0.5-0.7% was the other notable losers from the finnacial space.
Auto shares like Tata Motors, Hero Moto, Bajaj Auto and Mahindra & Mahindra slipped between 0.6-3%. Tata Motors extended yesterday’s losses on reporting lower than expected 12% year-on-year (yoy) jump in consolidated net profit at Rs 2,245 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2012, due to higher raw material cost and forex loss.
Other notable losers include Tata Steel, Coal India,BHEL, Cipla and Tata Power lost 0.6-1.5%
On the gaining side, shares of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies continue at their upward march with HUL and ITC adding 1-2%. The FMCG companies reported a strong an average 16% year-on-year growth in revenue for the June quarter, as the demand for daily-use items remained buoyant despite inflationary pressure.
Hindustan Unilever, the personal care giant, was back in the top 10 ranking in terms of market capitalisation (m-cap) after a gap of more than three years.HUL hit historic high of Rs 496 today, toppled ICICI Bank to become the country's 10th most valued firm in terms of market capitalization.
IT majors TCS and Infosys added nearly 1.5% each and Wipro gained 1%.
The market breadth was negative on the BSE.1578 stocks declined while 1181 stocks advanced.
Among other stocks, Ranbaxy Laboratories was down 4% at Rs 483, extending its previous day’s 3% fall on reporting a net loss of Rs 580 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2012, as against profit of Rs 243 crore in a year ago period due to foreign exchange loss. Net sales however, grew 55% to Rs 3,174 crore on year-on-year basis.
Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) rallied 5% to Rs 252 on the back of huge volumes on reports that the Supreme Court has refused to put on hold the Delhi High Court order on the plea of Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) over the fixation of the maximum retail price, network tariff and compression charges for the gas by the regulator.
HCL Infosystems soared 5% to Rs 40.6 after the company said it has signed a contract with The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on August 7.
Tech Mahindra zoomed nearly 5% at Rs 799 after reporting a better-than-expected 22% year-on-year (y-o-y) jump in consolidated net profit at Rs 339 crore for the first quarter ended June 2012, on back of strong performance in the Mahindra Satyam unit and currency boost. Revenues grew 19% at Rs 1,543 crore on y-o-y basis.