New Delhi: Indian stocks closed down on Friday as a huge earthquake in Japan made investors wary of taking fresh positions ahead of the long weekend. An 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit Japan triggering tsunami like waves in neighboring seas.
According to news agency Reuters, it is the strongest earthquake Japan has ever witnessed since it began measuring earthquakes magnitudes. This further deteriorated sentiment in the Indian stocks, which already opened weak on rising unrest in Middle East and concerns of slowing economy. However better than expected Index for Industrial Production (IIP) numbers helped domestic markets limit losses by end of the day. The IIP numbers for January 2011 come in at 3.7%, higher than analysts’ estimates of 2.7%. Consequently, the Indian benchmark closed the week about 1.7% down.
Sensex: 18,174, –0.84%
Nifty: 5,445, –0.89%
Nikkei: 10,254, –1.72%
Hang Seng: 23,249, –1.55%
Except for oil & gas and FMCG, all sectoral indices on the Bombay Stock Exchange closed with losses. Metals, information technology, power and capital goods lost the most.
BSE Metal: 15,367, –1.9%
BSE IT: 6,149, –1.5%
BSE Power: 2,554, –1.5%
BSE Capital Goods: 12,558, –1.4%
State run BHEL led the losses in the capital goods space after the company said that it might miss its new order guidance for the current fiscal year on low orders. BHEL chairman and managing Director B. Prasada Rao told Reuters that the sector is growing at a slow pace due to issues such as environmental clearances, coal linkages, and financial closures. The negative commentary led selling in capital goods stocks as investors feared weak earnings due to slowing orders.
BHEL: Rs 1,972, –3.9%
Punj Lloyd: Rs 62 –3.2%
Gammon India: Rs 111 –2.8%
Reliance Industrial Infrastructure: Rs 631 –2.7%
JSW Steel and Sterlite Industries led the losses in the metal pack.
JSW Steel: Rs 901 –3.9%
Sterlite Industries: Rs 160 –3.1%
Tata Steel: Rs 582 –2.4%
Selling was also visible in information technology stocks. Investor sold most of the index heavyweight stocks including Infosys Technologies and TCS. Mphasis continues to be on the selling radar. Investors are concerned about the company’s ability to improve margins and add new clients.
Mphasis: Rs 438 –4.7%
Oracle Financial Services: Rs 2.036 –2.1%
TCS: Rs 1,076 –2.9%
Overall it was a bad day for the markets. 64.9% of the stocks traded on the Bombay Stock Exchange ended in losses.