The last week was a time to remember. We had the ongoing declaration of quarterly results, the first quarter review of the annual monetary policy by the RBI, the sentencing of Sanjay Dutt, Dr Mohammed Haneef returning home and the rains lashing down in North India and Mumbai.
The global scene was eventful too. High inflation leading to higher interest rates led to the concern that higher corporate borrowing costs would curb the pace of takeovers, private equity deals and M&As which are backed by leveraged funding. Negative news on the sub-prime loan situation in the US added to everyone's woes. Then the yen started to rise as local investors sold foreign-currency denominated assets. Some hedge funds are facing huge losses. Bear Stearns has seen two of its hedge funds collapse last month and has stopped redemptions on a third. Australia's Macquarie Bank has also warned of losses in two of its funds.
So it was not surprising that globally markets crashed and FIIs in India sold heavily.
The week began (and continued) on a volatile note. The markets opened on Monday morning with a negative bias, bounced back but fell again to close flat. Though both indices closed flat, Nifty closed in negative territory while the Sensex in positive.
On Tuesday, the mood was certainly upbeat as the Sensex crossed 15,500 and the Nifty crossed 4,500. On Wednesday, the bulls got a sound thrashing though they managed to limp back the next day. Friday saw them back in shape.
SBI was the biggest Sensex gainer this week (9.06%) on the back of great results. The company's Q1 net profit surged expectations.
The BSE Realty index fared well. Barring Wednesday, when the markets collapsed, the index was on an upturn.
Tech stocks had a rough week. TCS (-4.88%), Wipro (-4.70%), Infosys (-4.41%), Satyam (-0.11%), all ended negatively.
Pharma stocks met with the same fate: Dr Reddy's (-3.11%), Ranbaxy (-2.31%), Cipla (-0.77%). The BSE Healthcare Index closed at 3628.45.