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Selling Drags Markets Down

Sensex slipped 1.90 per cent, while Nifty ended the week down 1.76 per cent. Metal and technology stocks suffered

Equity markets dropped in the week ended April 8, 2005. The heavy bouts of selling in the metal and technology stocks contributed to this slide. Overall, the BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty reversed the last week's rising momentum as they lost 1.90 and 1.76 per cent, respectively. At the close of trading hours on Friday, the Sensex ended at 6,479.54 points, while Nifty signed off the week at 2,031.20 mark. Mid-cap stocks were the only respite for the equity markets, as the benchmark CNX Mid-cap 200 ended the week in green, gaining 0.44 per cent. The other broad-based index S&P CNX 500 skidded 1.22 per cent during the week.

Among the sectoral indices, the BSE Metal Index had a tough week--it lost close to 4.6 per cent. Following this was a 3.66 per cent slide in the BSE IT Index. The BSE Bankex was down 1.91 per cent, while the BSE Healthcare lost 1.93 per cent. The BSE PSU Index shed 0.97 per cent. The BSE FMCG Index gained 1.47 per cent, thanks to the impressive gains of Colgate-Palmolive and ITC scrips during the week.

Among the index heavyweights, the drop in TISCO was most pronounced as it lost 6.8 per cent. Mahindra & Mahindra shed close to 6 per cent, while Tata Power lost 5.57 per cent. Zee Telefilms' rise of 4.39 per cent was the highest on the Sensex. Infosys Technologies lost 5.21 per cent ahead of the speculations of its Q4 results to be announced on April 14.

The turnover on the bourses fell ahead of the earnings-reporting season. On the IPO front, apparel maker and exporter Gokaldas Exports Ltd's IPO that closed on April 6, was subscribed 47 times.

FIIs reversed their trend of outflows from the Indian equity markets last week to inject Rs 530.30 crore in the week ended April 8, 2005. Mutual funds were also net buyers to the tune of Rs 120.20 crore.

Outlook

The quarter-end results of Hero Honda, HDFC Bank and Infosys Technologies scheduled for next week would decide the direction of equity markets. As the global crude oil prices are hovering around their record highs, any trend in global markets is likely to have repercussions on Indian markets too. Overall, the markets could show positive bias on hopes of good quarter-end results.