Sensex fails to maintain mid-week gains, ends mostly flat

Brokers commented sentiment dampened as investors also focussed on RIL reporting fourth straight quarterly drop in profit.

Updated: Oct 20, 2012, 15:38 PM IST

Mumbai: Profit booking from operators ahead of the expiry of derivative contract failed to maintain mid- week gains even though the BSE benchmark sensex ended marginally higher by seven points during the week.

Brokers commented sentiment dampened as investors also focussed on RIL reporting fourth straight quarterly drop in profit.

The BSE benchmark sensex resumed higher at 18,690.99 and firmed up further to 18,806.56 on the back of strong buying in FMCG, Consumer Durables and Banking counters.

Brokers said some short-covering activity ahead of the expiry of October contract next week amid renewed hopes of cut in interest rates by RBI in the forthcoming monetary policy meeting on October 30, also helped boost sentiment.

However, it failed to maintain gains due to selling pressure mainly in Metal, Realty, Refinery and Capital Goods counters.

The Sensex declined afterwards to 18,535.37 before settling at 18,682.31, showing a mere gain of 7.13 points or 0.04 percent from its last weekend's level.

The NSE 50-share Nifty also moved up by 8.20 points or 0.14 percent to finish at 5,684.25.

The overall inflation rose to its highest level this fiscal at 7.81 percent in September, diminishing hopes of key interest rates cut in the forthcoming monetary policy review by the apex bank.

The market also received support on firming global trends as China's economic data indicated some stabilisation in the world's second largest economy, while positive US housing data eased worries about global slowdown.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met President Pranab Mukherjee, triggering fresh speculation of a Cabinet reshuffle.

Brokers said investors, confused over the on-going political chaos, decided to book profits and play safe ahead of the expiry of derivatives contract on October 25.

Auto scrips fell on lower-than-expected sales, while metal stocks were hit on fears of slowdown in China hitting demand.

Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have invested comparatively small amount of Rs 363.11 crore during the week including the provisional figure of Oct 19.

From the 30-share Sensex family, 20 scrips finished with losses while 10 ended with gains.

Major losers were Gail India (5.11 percent), M&M (3.62 percent), Tata Steel (3.19 percent), Sun Pharma (2.84 percent), Jindal Steel (2.53 percent), Hindalco Ind (2.46 percent), Sterlite Ind (2.43 percent) Coal India (1.58 percent) and HUL (1.25 percent).

However, ITC rose by 5.12 percent followed by Hero Motoco 3.93 percent, Tata Power 2.63 percent and Bharti Airtel 2.43 percent.

Among the major indices the BSE-Metal fell by 2.53 percent followed by the BSE-Realty 1.36 percent and the BSE-Oil&Gas 1.24 percent, while the BSE-FMCG rose by 2.65 percent and the BSE-CD 1.93 percent.

The total turnover at BSE and NSE fell to Rs 11,294.72 crore and Rs 52,061.03 crore, respectively from the last weekend's level of Rs 12,086.76 crore and Rs 58,472.73 crore.