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Bears smash down stocks again, knock Sensex down by 506 pts
June, 09th 2008

Crude oil prices skyrocketed to historic levels on Friday and sent US markets into a tailspin. Asian markets followed suit and the bears could not have asked for a better platform to launch yet another assault on stocks at the Indian bourses. Concerns over the possibility of the Apex bank announcing some tight measure to rein in inflation added to the woes.

As stocks plunged sharply at the bell, the Sensex went crashing down by over 500 points within minutes of commencement of trade this morning. And then, despite managing a recovery, it tumbled once again and tanked to 14,846.18 in mid-morning trade. Finally, after moving in a somewhat narrow range for a better part of the session post noon, it settled at 15,066.10, around 3.25% or 506.08 points behind its previous closing mark.

The Nifty, which drifted down to a low of 4411.60 in intra-day trades, ended at 4500.95 with a big loss of 2.74% or 126.85 points.

Stocks cutting across sectors felt the heat this morning. Though a select few from pharma, metal and auto sectors managed to force their way up subsequently, it was not sufficient to pull the market out of the red. Realty, power, capital goods, information technology, auto and bank stocks struggled right through the session. Mid and small-cap stocks took a hammering. The market breadth remained weak throughout the day.

Among Sensex components, only Ranbaxy Laboratories (3.9%) and Reliance Communications (1.35%) broke free from the red and finished with sharp gains. Hindalco ended with a marginal gain. Tata Steel and Cipla regained lost ground and ended slightly below their previous closing levels. From the Nifty pack, Nalco (4.9%), Cairn India (4.45%), Reliance Petroleum (2.95%), Sun Pharmaceuticals (2.3%), Hero Honda (2.15%) and Tata Power (0.8%) signed off on a positive note.

Jaiprakash Associates (down 8.65%), DLF (down 7.35%), ONGC (down 7%), HDFC (down 5.95%) and Reliance Infrastructure (down 5.65%) ended with big losses. HDFC Bank (down 4.3%), Ambuja Cements (down 4.1%), Infosys Technologies (down 4.45%), Tata Motors (down 4.25%), Tata Consultancy Services (down 4.55%) and Wipro (down 4.85%) went down sharply.

State Bank of India, Satyam Computer Services, Reliance Industries, BHEL, Bharti Airtel, ITC, ICICI Bank, Larsen & Toubro and Maruti Suzuki eased by 2% - 4%. NTPC, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hindustan Unilever, ACC and Grasim Industries also closed with sharp losses.

Unitech plunged 9.6% to Rs 184.30. BPCL closed with a loss of 7.3%. Suzlon Energy ended with a loss of 6.55%. HCL Technologies posted a loss of 5.1%. Siemens lost a little over 4%. Idea Cellular, GAIL India, Zee Entertainment, Power Grid, Tata Communications, ABB and Sterlite Industries also ended with sharp losses.

Besides sector heavyweights Unitech and DLF, other realty stocks HDIL, Phoenix Mills, Ansal Infrastructure, Penland, Akruti City, Sobha Developers, India Bulls Real Estate, Anant Raj Industries, Puravankara Projects, Omaxe and Mahindra Life also closed with sharp losses today.

Among capital goods stocks, Alstom Projects, Jyoti Structure, Kirloskar Brothers, Lakshmi Machine Works, Punjab Lloyd, Areva, Kalpataru Power Transmission, Bharat Earth Movers, Praj Industries, Thermax, Bharat Electronics and AIA Engineering attracted heavy selling today.

Non-Sensex IT stocks Moser Baer, NIIT Technologies, i-Flex Solutions, Aptech, HCL Technologies, Patni Computer Services, NIIT, Tech Mahindra, Financial Technologies, Rolta India, GTL, CMC, Educomp Solutions, MindTree Consulting, Subex and HCL Infosys declined sharply.

The pharma index BSE HC (up 0.53%) was the lone gainer among the sectoral indices. BSE Metal trimmed its losses and settled 0.81% behind its previous closing mark. The Realty index went down by as much as 7.38%. BSE IT eased by 4.21%. Capital Goods, Oil & Gas, Bankex< Teck, Power, PSU, Auto and FMCG barometers lost 2%- 3.3%. The Consumer Durables index, BSE CD, closed with a loss of 1.69%.

Mirroring the sell-off at side counters, the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices closed lower by 2.83% and 3.63% respectively.

As selling remained widespread, the market breadth was weak right through the session today. When trade ended for the day, out of a total of 2693 stocks that were in action on BSE, as many as 2170 stocks were down in the red. 474 stocks posted gains and 49 stocks ended at their previous closing levels.

 
 
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