Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Dec 14, 2004
Markets - Commentary
Columns - Sensor
Index heavyweights, mid-cap stocks hog limelight
THE markets headed upwards on Monday, even as there were expectations of a correction. While opinion may be divided on where the markets are headed, it did not deter investors from buying in the index heavyweights ONGC, HDFC and Ranbaxy and propping up the benchmark indices.
The Sensex gained 35 points or 0.56 per cent to close the trading session at 6268.72, up from its previous close of 6233.54. The S&P CNX Nifty notched up another 16 points above its previous close of 1969, ending the day at 1985.35.
The Sensex started on a flat note. Trading was rather volatile in the earlier hours of the trading session, with the index oscillating between the positive and negative territories. Towards the later trading hours, buying picked up, pushing the index upwards. Of the 30 scrips that constitute the index, 23 advanced, reflecting the bullishness in the index heavyweights. The stocks of Hindalco and Dr Reddy's were the major losers of the day.
The mid-cap stocks, however, were back in the ring on Monday, after staying in the sidelines in the last few trading sessions. The CNX Midcap 200 appreciated 1.5 per cent, higher than the 0.83 per cent gain in the Nifty, underscoring the bullishness in mid-cap stocks. Interest in mid-cap stocks was witnessed particularly in the hotel, construction and sugar sectors.
The party in hotel stocks continued on Monday. The increase in tourist arrivals in November have investors upbeat on the tourism industry prospects. Besides the stocks of leading hotel chains such as Indian Hotels and EIH, a host of second and third rung stocks such as Asian Hotels, Oriental Hotels, Jaypee Hotels, Viceroy Hotels and U.P Hotels also logged higher gains.
Stocks of companies related to tourism were on an up-trend. The stock of Tourism Finance Corporation of India gained on the back of strong volumes. The stocks of Thomas Cook and International Travel House, which have also seen increased activity in recent weeks, cooled off on Monday.
Oil and gas stocks were also in the limelight, as reflected by the BSE Oil and Gas index, which gained more than one per cent. The stocks of Castrol India gained more than 5 per cent. The stocks of GAIL, Kochi Refineries and ONGC were the other strong gainers.
Buying was also witnessed in select cement and infrastructure-related stocks. The stocks of Madras Cement and India Cement recorded strong gains on Monday. Gammon India, Madhucon Projects and IVRCL Infrastructure were some of the other stocks that rose.
Select pharmaceutical stocks were on the losing end. The Dr Reddys, Zandu Pharma, Dishman Pharmaceuticals, Nicholas Piramal and GlaxoSmithKline were among those that finished lower.
Stocks and news: The stock of Ranbaxy rose by Rs 18 to close at Rs 1215. The company has received tentative approval from the US FDA to manufacture and market Gabapentin Tables.
The stock of Easun Reyrolle soared by Rs 20.35 to close at Rs 148. The company is to issue equity shares worth Rs 2.5 crore on a preferential basis.
The stock of Bharat Forge gained smartly, ending at Rs 970.6, higher by Rs 22. The gains follow the company's announcement of its acquisition of a German company, CDP Aluminium Technik, which is expected to give it a foothold in the aluminium forgings market.
The stock of Texmaco gained Rs 9.4 to close at Rs 197.45 on the back of news that it has received an order worth Rs 380 million from NTPC, for its Khalgaon Super Thermal Power Project in Bihar. The stock of United Breweries put on 6 per cent to close at Rs 91.55, following its decision to merge 10 subsidiaries with itself.
Other stocks that gained include Tata Honeywell, SAL Steel, Ind Swift, Four Soft, EID Parry, Dhampur Sugar and Crew B.O.S.
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