Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Aug 11, 2004
Markets - Commentary
Columns - Sensor
Auto stocks rev up in listless market
THE markets gyrated within a narrow range on Tuesday's trading with auto and pharma stocks chalking up significant gains. The BSE Sensex closed 0.36 per cent higher at 5252.1 points. The S&P CNX Nifty edged up by 0.58 per cent to close at 1652.1 points. The number of stocks that advanced overwhelmed those that declined, in both these indices.
Trading was fairly broad based with the mid-cap indices in fact, putting on more value than the bellwether indices. The S&P CNX Midcap 200 appreciated by 1.1 per cent to close at 1757.7 points.
Index gainers and losers: Within the index basket, Bharti Tele-ventures, Sun Pharma and IPCL registered strong gains.
Bharti Tele-ventures was up by Rs.5.4 at Rs.157.5 on the BSE. The stock appears to have recouped value on the back of strong customer addition numbers for July put out by the Cellular Operator's Association.
IPCL notched up gains of Rs 9.1 to close at Rs.192.6, on upgrades by analysts based on expectations that higher polymer prices would boost the company's earnings in the current fiscal.
Pharma stocks led by Sun Pharma registered strong gains. The Sun Pharma stock surged by Rs 26.1 to close at Rs.381.8 on Tuesday.
Torrent Pharma was among the mid-cap stocks to notch up strong gains, adding Rs 13.9 to close at Rs 434.4.
Frontline auto stocks were buoyant on Tuesday with Maruti Udyog and Mahindra & Mahindra making significant gains.
Maruti Udyog added Rs 10.6 to close at Rs 413.6, while M&M added Rs 13.5 to close at Rs 459.6.
The Ashok Leyland stock proved the exception losing about a rupee to trade at Rs 20.6 at close. Technology stocks, however, ruled weaker as lower-than-expected employment numbers from the US for July revived concerns about the state of the US economy. This undermined sentiment for software stocks.
Infosys and Satyam Computer lost ground during the day's trading. Hexaware Technologies, however, beat the sluggish trend for technology stocks to notch up gains of Rs 25.9, to close at Rs 474.4 for the day. Among the stocks which shed value during the day's trading were Hughes Software (down Rs 11, to close at Rs 520.2), Novartis (down Rs 9.2 to close at Rs 440).
FMCG stocks too were weaker during the day, led by HLL and ITC. HLL shed marginal value to close at Rs.115 levels on the BSE.
Sectoral themes: The other key sectoral themes in the market were tyre and steel stocks. Smaller steel company stocks attracted substantial trading activity during the day. Lloyd's Steel and Ispat Industries were among the stocks which registered the highest volumes of trading.
Tyre companies, too, were in the limelight, with MRF and Apollo Tyres putting on significant value.
The MRF stock was locked at the upper circuit filter with gains of 10 per cent during the day.
Apollo Tyres too closed Rs 6.3 higher at Rs 207.4.
Expectations of an upward revision in tyre prices, combined with the removal of some of the import curbs on rubber appear to have buoyed sentiment in tyre companies.
New highs: A few mid-cap stocks hit new highs during the course of Tuesday's trading. CUMI hit an intra-day high of Rs 323, before closing a shade lower. Godrej Consumer climbed steadily through the day to touch Rs 214, a new high for the stock. The company has recently proposed a fresh buyback programme, which will be routed through the open market.
The Arvind Mills stock hit a new high at Rs 80.3. The company, on Monday, obtained consent from its shareholders to hike the limit on FII investments from 24 to 49 per cent. The FII holding in the company already stood at 23.9 per cent on June 30 2004. The company also plans to enhance capacities through a de-bottlenecking exercise.
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