Mumbai: Mixed corporate earnings and a lack of positive cues from global markets led to a flat closing in Indian stocks. After opening with gains, the benchmark indices soon lost ground as losses in Cairn India, ONGC and Hindalco outweighed gains in other stocks. The trend turned more negative in the second half of the day after India’s largest utility vehicles maker Mahindra & Mahindra negatively surprised the market with weak March quarter earnings.
Sensex: 18,232 –0.19%
Nifty: 5,473 –0.05%
Mahindra & Mahindra, Hindalco, ONGC and Cairn India led the losses in the Nifty 50 shares. Mahindra & Mahindra tanked 5.8% after the company warned investors about growing pressure on operating margins due to high raw material costs. The company reported a muted 6.3% growth in March quarter profits to Rs 606 crore. Analysts, on an average, were expecting the company to report a net profit of Rs 680 crore. Read more...
Hindalco also lost more than 2.6% after the company reported a 37% drop in 2010-11 consolidated net profits to Rs 2,456 crore. Sharp rise in interest costs squeezed margins of the company. (Read more...)Jittery investors sold ONGC and Cairn India stocks. Delay in government approval for the Cairn-Vedanta deal and uncertainty over the royalty sharing issue weighed on investors’ mind.
Mahindra & Mahindra: Rs 663 –5.87%
Hindalco: Rs 192 –2.68%
ONGC: Rs 276 –2.14%
Cairn India: Rs 339 –2.03%
Pharmaceutical stocks were the biggest gainers in the Nifty 50. Sun Pharma surged more than 4% after the company said its March quarter profits rose 12% to Rs 443 crore. Read more...
Sun Pharma: Rs 466 +4.83%
Ranbaxy Laboratories: Rs 535 +4.66%
Cipla: Rs 330 +3.67%
At the sectoral level, automobiles and oil & gas stocks led the losses on the BSE. The sell-off in Mahindra & Mahindra shares weighed on the BSE Auto index.
BSE Auto: 8,846 –1.50%
BSE Healthcare: 6,275 +2.24%
BSE Consumer Durables: 6,462 +2.01%
BSE Realty: 2,124 +1.77%
Overall 56.15% of the shares traded on the BSE closed the day with gains.