Markets ended marginally lower on Wednesday on the back of selling pressure in auto shares in late trades. The Sensex slipped 17 points at 17,302. Nifty ended flat at 5,239.
Global markets ended in the positive zone as factory activity surged in April. Strong US factory activity data and a pickup in Asia raised hopes of a global economic recovery, but fears over the health of the euro zone kept the single currency under pressure. In Asia, Nikkei added 0.3% to 9,380 while Shanghai Composite surged 1.7%.
BSE auto index was the biggest dragger and slipped 1.7% at 10,463. Power and capital goods indices also declined in trades. However, the consumer durables index added 2.4% to 6,750.
Back home, Hindustan Unilever was up 2% at Rs 425 after reporting a 21% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in net profit at Rs 687 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2012. Bharti Airtel is also trading higher by 2.4% after the company reported higher operating profit on a sequential basis.
Shares from the auto pack dipped lower as most of them reported a single digit growth in passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market during the month of April 2012 over the previous year. “Eight of the country’s top 19 automobile makers together recording a growth of nine per cent to sell 171,130 units in April, compared with 157,101 units sold in last year,” reports suggest.
Tata Motors shed 3.8% at Rs 305 after reporting 7% year-on-year fall in total sales (including exports) of Tata commercial and passenger vehicles at 60,086 units in April 2012.
Maruti Suzuki India slipped 2.7% at Rs 1,332 on registering modest growth of 3.6% last month. The company sold 100,415 units in April, compared with 97,155 units it sold a year ago. Meanwhile, the second largest two-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto today reported just 4% rise in April sales to 381,590 units, as against 367,309 units a year ago.
Hero MotoCorp came out with quarterly numbers. The two-wheeler major reported a net profit at Rs 604 crore. Shares of Hero MotoCorp ended flat at Rs 2,245.
Telecom major Bharti Airtel gained 2.5% at Rs 318. India's largest telecom company, Bharti reported a net profit of Rs 1,006 crore in the quarter ended March 31, 2012. The company said that profit was below market expectations due to higher costs on tax, foreign exchange and amortization.
"Bharti looks positive. We believe initially covering of the short positions that we had seen in the previous trading sessions will take BhartiL to higher levelswe believe first target for BhartiL should be 325-327, a decisive close above this can take to 339-341 levels," said Shshank Mehta, Derivatives Strategist, Shah Investor's Home Ltd.
DLF was the biggest gainer among Sensex stocks and surged 2.7%, followed by TCS, Cipla and HDFC Bank. Meanwhile, selling pressure was witnessed in Tata Power, Coal India and NTPC.
Among other shares, Subex zoomed 10% at Rs 25.90 after the company informed that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the restructuring proposal of its outstanding foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCB) involving a combination of debt and equity. Titan Industries gained 4.2% to Rs 243 after reporting better-than-expected a 72% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in net profit at Rs 144 crore for the quarter ended March 2012, on back of robust performance by the watch segment.