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Friday, Nov 21, 2003

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Heavyweights drag Sensex down

G. Madhan

THE benchmark BSE Sensex plunged into the negative territory for the third trading day in a row. The 30-stock index was down 52.5 points (1.09 per cent).

The index opened firm on Thursday at 4840.80 points, up by about 17 points from that of the previous day's closing. It remained in the positive ground for the first half of the day's trading. However, the selling activity that took place in key index heavyweights - Reliance Industries, ITC and Infosys Technologies - during the second-half of the day dragged the index down to 4771.23 points. The Index, in the process, registered an intra-day high of 4878.81 points and a low of 4763.53 points, witnessing an intra-day swing of about 115 points.

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On the BSE, most of the indices including BSE-TECk, BSE-PSU and BANKEX ended the day on a negative note.

On the NSE, the S&P CNX Nifty fell by 18.3 points (1.19 per cent) to 1522.30 points.

Among the Sensex constituents, 6 stocks appreciated and the rest declined. On the BSE, of the 1,987 stocks traded, 799 gained, 1,106 declined and the rest remained unchanged.

Among the index heavyweights, Hindustan Lever remained in the negative territory throughout the day. The stock was down 1.3 per cent to Rs 176.95. Reliance Industries and ITC, witnessed strong selling pressure during the second half of the day. Reliance Industries fell by 2.3 per cent to Rs 449.9. ITC dropped by 1.4 per cent to Rs 860.35. The stock of Infosys Technologies, on the other hand, witnessed selling activity during the last one-hour of the trading and fell by 1.1 per cent to Rs 4,611.9.

The key losers in the index include Tata Power (3 per cent), BHEL (1.9 per cent), Tata Steel (2.4 per cent), SBI (2.1 per cent), MTNL (3.2 per cent), BSES (4.6 per cent), and Zee Telefilms (4.4 per cent).

Dr. Reddy's Labs gained 1.4 per cent to Rs 1,235.7. The company announced that it had filed an Abbreviated New Drug Application with the US Food and Drug Administration for 20 mg Rabeprazole Sodium tablets, with a Paragraph IV certification on the two Orange Book patents listed for the drug.

Among other Sensex constituents that gained during the day were HDFC, Hindalco, Satyam Computer, Gujarat Ambuja and Hero Honda.

Another pharma major Nicholas Piramal India fell by 0.7 per cent to Rs 542.55. The company on Thursday announced that The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has cut the price of the bulk drug Vitamin A, with immediate effect. The company has also announced that this price cut may adversely impact the sales and profit before tax to the extent of Rs 2 crore.

The stock of KEC International, which is engaged in the design and manufacture of power transmission line towers and petrochemicals, witnessed robust trading volumes. The stock price appreciated by a whopping 19.4 per cent to Rs 71.45 on trading volumes of 34.3 lakh shares, up from the previous day's volumes of 18.8 lakh shares. Jyoti Structures also rose 7.3 per cent to Rs 91.60.

Textile stocks continued to be in favour on the bourses. The stock of Arvind Mills rose 6.6 per cent to Rs 53.65. Century Textiles gained 3.1 per cent to Rs 125.15. Raymond also ended the day on a positive note. Textile stocks are witnessing buying interest since last week following reports that international retail chains are keen on outsourcing garments from India.

Steel stocks including SAIL, Tata Steel, Jindal Vijayanagar and JISCO witnessed huge surge in trading volumes. Other stocks that registered huge trading volumes include Satyam Computer, Alka Spinners, Tata Teleservices, Tata Motors, Maruti Udyog, ACC, IFCI, Polaris, Welspun Gujarat, IndusInd Bank and Arvind Remedies.

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