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Sensex on a high, but some stocks sink to 52-week lows

The Sensex continues to hit several all-time highs in July as the best-performing market in Asia, but the broader market is going the other way.

SENSEX, BSE, NSE
Both the Sensex and Nifty50 closed at record highs of 36,984.64 and 11,167.30 respectively on Thursday. (PTI)

The Sensex continues to hit several all-time highs in July as the best-performing market in Asia, but the broader market is going the other way.

Nearly a third of companies with a minimum market capitalisation of `1,000 crore have hit their 52-week lows in July.

From the Nifty pack alone, 11 companies, including Bajaj Auto, Bharti Airtel, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Motors and Tata Steel witnessed their shares hitting 52-week lows during the month.

On Thursday, shares of Bajaj Auto slid another 0.74% to close the session at `2,619.25, marking the stock’s fifth consecutive day of loss, which also saw it dropping to its lowest level in one-and-a-half years.

The stock remains under pressure and has lost close to 16% of its value in the last five sessions after analysts expressed concerns on its strategy to gain a more significant share in the low-cost two-wheeler market.
What’s more, over 70% of all stocks with a market capitalisation of `1,000 crore and above are trading at below their 200-day moving averages. Moreover, nearly a third of the of these 776 stocks have lost more than a quarter of their value so far in 2018.

At 36,984.64, the benchmark index has given a return of a mere 1% in dollar terms since January, while the S&P 500 has risen by 6.5% over the same period. While the Sensex has gained close to 9% in rupee terms, this is thanks to the outperformance of just a handful of stocks. The broader market has under-performed, with the BSE Midcap index losing nearly 12% and the BSE Smallcap index giving up 15.2% between January and now.

While more than 50% of the listed public-sector companies hit their 52-week lows in July, four companies each from the private conglomerates — the Tata Group, the KM Birla Group and the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) — also saw their stocks hitting their lowest levels in the last one year.

Shares of Tata Motors hit their 52-week low of `247.55 on July 18, followed by Tata Steel plunging to a similar low and hitting Rs 493.5 on BSE the following day.

While state-owned lenders such as Bank of India and Union Bank of India have declined 43.7% and 41.1% since the beginning of 2018, Canara Bank saw its shares coming off by 22.7%.

Other public-sector companies, such as HPCL, MRPL, NBCC, Engineers India, Bharat Electronics and BEML also declined in the range of 33% to 50.9% during the same period.

Both the Sensex and Nifty50 closed at record highs of 36,984.64 and 11,167.30 respectively on Thursday.

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