Markets retreat from peak

Sensex falls 188 points; banking & capital goods stocks lead gains on weekly basis

Benchmark equity indices ended flat-to-positive for the second consecutive week, despite losing nearly 1% on Friday. Revival in the foreign institutional investors? (FIIs) buying and a good start to the earnings season fortified sentiment.

Five out of seven Sensex companies that have so far reported their earnings have either beaten or met estimates, Bloomberg analyses show.

On Friday, the overseas funds emerged net buyers of the Indian shares for the fifth consecutive session. According to provisional data from stock exchanges, FIIs bought $49-million shares in the cash segment, taking the last five sessions? tally to roughly $322 million. Before resuming the buying activities, FIIs had sold about $100-million shares in three consecutive sessions, data showed.

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After touching a new high on Wednesday, the Sensex fell 188 points (-0.82%) on Friday, the biggest single-day fall in more than a week. The 30-share gauge inched closer to the 23,000-mark in the week, but settled at 22,688.07 with a gain of 0.2% over the previous week. The Nifty came close to 6,900 levels before ending the week at 6782.75, up 0.04% week-on-week.

Broader markets resumed their upward move after a brief pause last week. BSE mid-cap rose 0.5% whereas small-cap index gained 1% in the week. In last one month, broader markets have gained in the range of 5-9% compared with 2% gains seen in the Sensex.

Sentiments in most Asian markets were also dull. Major Asian indices such as Nikkei 225, Hang Seng, KOSPI and Shanghai Composite ended down between 0.5% and 4%, whereas major European and US indices were up about 0.5-1.5% at the time of going to print.

?The (benchmark) indices continued their record breaking spree. However, it retreated to close the week almost flat amid profit-booking at higher levels. The movement of the markets will be dictated more by global cues and forecast of below-average rains in much of South Asia, including India, which are not encouraging as of now. Sentiments also took a hit after the rupee breached R61 per dollar mark hitting its lowest level since March 21,? said India Infoline in its investor note.

Five of eleven sectoral indices ended in red in the week, Bloomberg data showed.

Banking and capital goods stocks continued with their rally on the back of strong corporate earnings. The Bank Nifty rose nearly 2% and BSE Capital Goods index rose 4.3% in the week, taking the gauge to the highest level in two-and-a-half years as technology, engineering and construction company Larsen & Toubro (L&T) advanced 6.3% and heavy electrical equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) gained 5.5% in last four sessions.

However, tractor and automobile manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) was the top gainer this week. The scrip surged 7.3% on the bourses after Credit Suisse upgraded the stock to ?outperform? from ?neutral?, citing volume growth in the near-term and attractive valuations.

Axis Bank and State Bank of India (SBI) rose 4.8% and 3.3%, respectively, and Bharti Airtel completed the list of top gains with a 5%-upmove.

Technology, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and realty companies ended on the losing side due to profit booking. Wipro was the top loser this week with a 11.3% fall, while the stock of Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company Hindustan Unilever (HUL) fell 4.7%.

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First published on: 26-04-2014 at 04:31 IST