14th May, 2013 : Market ends choppy session on a whimper

iiflThe equity market ended Tuesday with marginal gains after Monday’s profit booking. The indices, which opened with a positive gap, managed to build momentum in the first half of the day. However, it slipped from the day’s high after the wholesale inflation data for April trickled in.

Market participants seemed to have already factored in the steep decline in inflation figures.

The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly WPI, stood at 4.89% (provisional) for April as compared to 5.96% in March and 7.5% year-on-year. It has declined to the lowest point since 2009.

The Sensex finally closed at 19722, up 31 points, while the Nifty ended 15 points up at 5,995. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index ended marginally up while the Small-Cap index ended almost unchanged.

Commenting on today’s trading action, Amar Ambani, Head of Research at IIFL, said the Nifty continued to consolidate between 5,970 and 6,030 levels.

Going forward, Ambani advises investors to stay cautious as he expects the Nifty to trade in a range of 5,950-6,115. “A breakout on either side can determine a clear cut market direction.”

The recent Reserve Bank forensic report on Cobrapost’s money-laundering revelations continued to haunt the banking pack with major scrips witnessed selling pressure on every rise.

Healthcare stocks were in demand today with the S&P BSE Healthcare index gaining 0.7%. The other sectoral gainers include TECk and PSU indices both adding 0.7% and 0.5% respectively. On the other hand, consumer durables, realty and auto stocks disappointed.

Ranbaxy Laboratories, Sun Pharmaceuticals, Bank of Baroda, Power Grid, ONGC, Bharti Airtel, GAIL (India), Punjab National Bank, Tata Motors, Asian Paints and HDFC gained in the trade today while Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Bajaj Auto, HCL Technologies, BHEL, JP Associates, DLF, Tata Steel, HDFC Bank and M&M lost out.

The advance-decline ratio was more or less evenly balanced. On the BSE, 1,140 stocks advanced against 1,194 declines, while 132 stocks remained unchanged. Volatility, as measured by India VIX, declined by 2% to close at 17.17.

Stocks in news:

Ranbaxy pleaded guilty to felony charges relating to drug safety. It has agreed to pay US$500mn in civil and criminal fines under a settlement agreement with the US Department of Justice. Initially, after slumping in early trades and hitting an intra-day low of Rs421, it bounced back strongly ending 3.5% higher to close at Rs.455 per share.

Punj Llyod edged marginally higher at Rs54 after the company announced that it has secured a Rs7.3bn contract from ONGC.