BSE Sensex down 135 pts at one-week low on profit-taking; Hindustan Unilever gains

Written by Reuters | Mumbai | Updated: Jul 28 2014, 23:59pm hrs
BSE SensexICICI Bank fell 1.3 percent, while Reliance Industries ended lower 1.8 percent. (PTI)
The BSE benchmark Sensex today fell for second straight day and ended 135.52 points down at a one-week low of 25,991.23 as investors booked profits in metal, oil&gas and realty shares after the recent rally.

Trading activity was also sluggish ahead tomorrow's holiday and monthly expiry in derivatives on Thursday.

Stock markets opened on a better note with the 30-scrip BSE Sensex touching the day's high of 26,181.83 points in early trade. It later slipped below the 26,000-mark on across the board profit booking by participants and closed 135.52 points, or 0.52 per cent, down at 25,991.23. Intra-day, it had touched a low of 25.900.25.

Today's Sensex closing is the weakest since 25,715.17 on July 21, 2014. On Friday, it had shed 145.10 points, snapping a record 8-day upmove in which the Sensex rose over 5 percent.

Strong selling pressure was seen in sectors like realty, metals, oil & gas, PSUs, auto, banking and capital goods.

Stocks of FMCG major Hindustan Unilever gained 3.69 per cent after the company today reported increase in standalone net profit at Rs 1,056.85 crore for the June quarter.

Among others counters that saw earnings today, shares of Persistent Systems and Bank of Baroda closed higher while JK Cement, Havells India and Dabur edged lower.

"Profit booking was seen at higher levels in most of the index heavyweights. Market breadth was negative, and volumes were lower than the last session," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.

Advance/decline ratio was inclined towards losers as over 1,650 stocks ended down while about 1,200 scrips rose.

Meanwhile, the 50-share Nifty of the National Stock Exchange lost 41.75 points, or 0.54 per cent, to settle at a one-week low of 7,748.70 in its second day of declines. During the session, Nifty shuttled between 7,799.90 and 7,722.65.

Among major losers, Coal India suffered the most by plunging over 3 per cent, the most in three weeks.

Sectorally, the BSE Realty sector index suffered the most by losing 2.69 per cent, followed by Metal index 1.51 per cent, Oil & gas index 1.29 per cent, PSU Index 1.07 per cent and Auto index 0.78 per cent.

Bucking the trend, Consumer Durables index rose 0.57 per cent, FMCG index 0.38 per cent and IT index 0.37 per cent.

Globally, trend in other Asian markets remained firm and the European markets were in better shape in opening trade.

HIGHLIGHTS

* BSE index falls 0.52 pct; NSE ends 0.54 pct lower

* Hindustan Unilever up after quarterly volume growth beats estimates

* Havells India falls; depreciation, taxes weigh on earnings

* Bank of Baroda gains; lower provisions boost profit

Indian shares fall to one-week closing low as profit-taking hurts

(Reuters) Indian shares fell on Monday to their lowest close in a week, as profit-taking hit shares of blue-chips such as ICICI Bank Ltd for a second consecutive session after the record highs of last week.

Caution also prevailed ahead of the expiry of monthly derivatives contracts due on Thursday and ahead of key earnings such as Bharti Airtel Ltd and ICICI Bank in a holiday-shortened week.

The U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy statement on Wednesday is also on watch, especially for interest-rate outlook and any risk aversion towards emerging markets like India.

"The week is chock-a-block with economic events. If the Nifty (NSE index) manages to close above the 7,850 mark, which presently looks difficult, we can possibly gun for the 8,050 mark. Support is at 7,650," said Jyotheesh Kumar, executive vice-president of HDFC Securities.

The central bank's monetary policy review on Aug. 5 would be the next big trigger for Indian shares, which have rallied nearly 23 percent so far this year on optimism around reforms from the newly elected Narendra Modi government.

The broader NSE index lost 0.54 percent, or 41.75 points, to end at 7,748.70. It hit a record high of 7,840.95 on Friday.

The benchmark BSE index fell 0.52 percent, or 135.52 points, to end at 25,991.23, closing below the psychologically important 26,000 level.

Both indexes marked their lowest close since July 21.

ICICI Bank fell 1.5 percent after gaining over 34 percent in 2014 till Friday's close, while Reliance Industries Ltd ended down 1.6 percent.

Among other blue-chips, Tata Steel Ltd fell 1.7 percent, while Power Grid Corp of India lost 1.2 percent.

Engineering company Larsen and Toubro fell 1 percent ahead of its June-quarter results later in the day. The company later said its April-June net profit more than doubled to 9.67 billion rupees.

Other recent outperformers also fell. Housing Development Finance Corp ended 0.1 percent lower, while Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd fell 0.4 percent.

Tata Motors fell 1.6 percent, adding to Friday's 5 percent decline after its unit Jaguar Land Rover said it would cut prices of three models in China due to the government's anti-monopoly probe.

Havells India Ltd fell 2.1 percent after April-June earnings lagged estimates as additional depreciation due to changes in the Companies Act and expiry of certain tax exemptions weighed on results.

Among the gainers, Hindustan Unilever rose 3.5 percent after better-than-expected volume growth in the April-June quarter translated into earnings that beat estimates.

Bank of Baroda gained 0.5 percent after posting better-than-expected quarterly earnings of 13.62 billion rupees, helped by lower non-tax provisions and improved net interest income.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Dollar pauses after strongest week since March

* Oil falls below $108 on excess supply, weak demand

* Europe subdued, Russia shares tumble

* Foreign institutional investor flows