Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Mar 12, 2002
Columns - Sensor
Infosys, ITC save the day; auto majors lose
EXTENDING last weekend's loss, the Sensex registered a decline through a subdued phase on Monday. Growing concerns pertaining to the Ayodhya issue continued to act as a drag on the market sentiment. As a result, the index logged decline on five out of the last six trading days.
After a relatively strong opening at 3675.26 points, the benchmark index slipped into the negative territory. It ended the day at 3603.97, representing a decline of about 52.8 points or 1.44 per cent from Friday's close of 3656.77 points.
Only nine out of the 30 stocks constituting the index, managed to close on a positive note on Monday. The share price of software heavy-weight Infosys Technologies edged up by Rs14.8. On the other hand, another software major Satyam Computers was down Rs 8.3 at Rs 288.75.
Besides Infosys, ITC was another index heavy-weight that managed to make a nominal gain. The scrip inched up by Rs 3.95 to settle at Rs 715.65. The damage to the Sensex would have been more severe but for the nominal gains posted by Infosys and ITC.
The likes of Hindustan Lever, Reliance Industries, Bajaj Auto and Hero Honda were prominent among the losers from the universe of index stocks. FMCG major Hindustan Lever dropped Rs 7.1 to close at Rs 239.45. The scrip had recently touched a new high of Rs 266. Reports that the company had lost market share in the shampoo business segment appear to have affected sentiment towards the Hindustan Lever stock.
After a steady run-up over the recent months, the share prices of two wheeler majors such as Hero Honda, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motors have been pushed to lower levels in the recent days. These stocks were prominent among the losers of the Monday's trading. The share price of Hero Honda closed at Rs 357.65, down Rs 15.45 from Friday's close of Rs 373.1. Trading volumes ebbed to 84,396 shares from 3.34 lakh shares.
Contrary to the trend in the two-wheeler segment, the share price of scooter producer LML closed on a firm note. It logged a gain of Rs 2.85 or 11.68 per cent to end the day at Rs 27.25. Trading volumes were unusually high at 7.15 lakh shares against 1.12 lakh shares recorded on Friday.
An unprecedented surge in trading volumes has been evident in the LML counter in the past few days. The share price of the company too has been moving up steadily on the back of rising trading volume. The scrip has registered a gain of about 20 per cent in the last ten trading sessions.
Apart from LML, a noticeable improvement in trading volume was evident in stocks such as BOC India, Asahi India, Synergy Log-in, Adlab Films, Cholamandalam Investments, Premier Instruments and Nalco. Apart from the dramatic increase in trading volume, the share price of these companies has also settled at higher levels over the past few days.
Besides the above-mentioned stocks, heightened market interest was witnessed in the small and mid-cap technology stocks. A sharp spurt in trading volumes was noticeable in companies such as Orient Information, TVS Electronics, Polaris Software and Mascon Global.
The share price of TVS Electronics shot up by about 11 per cent to Rs 75.1, while trading volumes zipped to 5.6 lakh shares from 1.86 lakh shares. Similar to LML, the trend of a steady build-up in trading volumes and an increase share price was evident in TVS Electronics as well.
Shyam Telecom and Tata Telecom were prominent among the gainers of the day's trading. The share price of the former went up by Rs 2.85, while the latter registered a much hefty rise of Rs 7.85. Trading volumes in both the counters were substantially higher compared to the previous trading volume.
Apart from the index stocks, the list of the day's prominent losers had a fair representation of PSU stocks. The likes of Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Zinc and Container Corporation and National Aluminium were confined to the negative territory during the day's trading.
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