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Sensex ends flat, Bharti Airtel tanks 6.6 pc

PTI 08 Aug 2012, 19:18:22 PM IST
Mumbai, Aug 8: After touching a fresh four-month high, the Sensex surrendered gains to close flat at 17,600.56 points today with investors booking profit in the last hour of trade taking cues from weak opening in European stocks, amid telecom major Bharti reporting decline in profits.

The BSE benchmark index, which had gained 404 points in last two trading sessions, went up by 125 points to touch 4-1/2-month high of 17,726.64.

It, however, surrendered gains with investors cashing out of realty, capital goods, banking and consumer durable sectors. The Sensex finally settled at 17,600.56, 1.22 points lower compared to its previous close.

In the 30-share index, 18 counters ended higher while 12 scrips closed lower. Bharti Airtel was the worst hit in Sensex as it lost 6.60 per cent to close at Rs 274.40 after its profit dropped by 37 per cent in April-June quarter, the tenth such decline in quarterly profit.

Others including GAIL, ICICI Bank, TCS, L&T and ONGC also fell. However, with RIL and Infosys gaining around 1 per cent each, Sensex' fall was capped to an extent.

Brokers said the Indian markets gave up gains after European stocks fell from a four-month high and the euro weakened on poor quarterly earnings.

They added investors also booked recent gains on reports that foreign brokerages Citigroup and CLSA today cut their GDP growth estimates to 5.4 and 5.5 per cent respectively.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty managed to close 1.30 points higher at 5,338, after touching the day's high of 5,377.60.

“Indian stocks trimmed day's gains as profit-booking pursued in the last half an hour of the trade,” said Nidhi Sarswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.

The total market breadth at the BSE turned negative as 1,606 shares ended lower while 1,245 scrips closed higher.

Asian stocks also trimmed early gains amid caution ahead of key economic data due tomorrow in China.

Key benchmark indices in China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan ended higher while those from Hong Kong and Singapore finished lower.

European stocks were trading weak in their afternoon deals as Standard & Poor's Tuesday downgraded its outlook on Greece to negative from stable.

France's CAC was down by 0.61 per cent, Germany's DAX by 0.46 per cent and the YK's FTSE by 0.38 per cent.

Back home, besides Bharti, major Sensex losers today include Gail (2.87 pc), ICICI Bank (1.62 pc), TCS (1.12 pc), L&T (0.73 pc), Tata Power (0.66 pc), ONGC (0.64 pc) and Maruti (0.60 pc).

However, M&M rose by 3.92 per cent, followed by Hindalco (2.23 pc), Sterlite Ind. (1.29 pc), HUL (1.20 pc), Infosys (1.16 pc), Jindal Steel (1.14 pc), Tata Motors (1.13 pc) and RIL (0.89 pc).

“Volatility has ebbed substantially of late. Risk tolerance has improved materially as central banks in the developed world have pledged necessary support for the troubled markets... interest rates are unlikely to come off in a jiffy though, unless there is meaningful progress on the fiscal front,” said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.

Among the sectoral indices, the BSE-Realty fell by 2.01 per cent, followed by the BSE-Teck (0.81 pc), the BSE-CG (0.61 pc) and the Bankex (0.54 pc) while the BSE-Auto rose by 1.20 per cent, the BSE-PSU by 0.82 per cent and the BSE-Metal by 0.81 per cent.

The total turnover moved up to Rs 2,436.83 crore from Rs 2,178.92 crore yesterday.

Meanwhile, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) picked up shares worth Rs 815.95 crore yesterday as per provisional data with stock exchanges.