Sensex inches up to 2-month highs; L&T tanks 7% after results

Extending its winning run for fourth day, the BSE Sensex Monday inched up 9 points to close at two-month high of 20,159.12 helped by smart gains in HDFC, ICICI Bank and Infosys shares even as L&T tanked by over 7 percent after reporting a decline in profit.

Updated: Jul 22, 2013, 18:16 PM IST

Mumbai: Shrugging off firm global cues, the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex came off a two-month intra-day high to end just nine points up at 20,159.12 after disappointing results from Larsen & Toubro.

In an otherwise narrow range of trade, the 30-share index resumed lower but recovered at mid-session on firm Asian cues as well as positive European openings, reaching 20,264.90, the highest level since the close of 20,286.12 on May 17.

After L&T's Q1 results were announced, the index came off the intra-day high and settled at 20,159.12, a gain of 9.27 points, or 0.05 percent -- its highest close since 20,215.40 on May 30. The Sensex has gained 307.89 points, or 1.55 percent, in the past four sessions.

The 50-share CNX Nifty on the National Stock Exchange edged up 2.60 points, or 0.04 percent, to 6,031.80. The SX40 on the MCX-SX added 12.62 points to 12,059.31.

L&T posted a 12.46 percent decline in standalone net profit for the quarter ended June 30 on subdued revenue growth and a drop in other income.

Marketmen said the results were disappointing, particularly growth in revenue and order book. The L&T counter accounted for a drop of 70.74 points on the Sensex.

"Sentiment was hit after capital goods major Larsen & Toubro registered lower-than-expected Q1 FY14 earnings and worst margins in over 12 years," said Amar Ambani, head of research at India Infoline.

Besides L&T, which tumbled 7.46 percent, other capital goods counters like BHEL, Punj Lloyd, Siemens and Havells India registered losses. The BSE-CG index was the top loser among sectoral indices, with a fall of 5.57 percent.

Refinery and power segments were under selling pressure, while auto, banking and IT sectors were in demand.

Energy major RIL ended a seven-day rally, dropping 1.59 percent to Rs 908.50. The company posted a 19 percent jump in first-quarter net profit on Friday, mostly on the back of higher other income.

Experts said smart rise in shares of HDFC, ICICI Bank, Infosys, Sun Pharma, HUL, M&M, Airtel and Tata Steel helped the market end in positive zone for fourth day in a row.

On the global front, Asian stocks ended firm after China removed a floor on bank's lending rates and after reports said Japan's ruling government regained control of their Parliament's upper house, raising hopes for further reforms in both economies.

Key indices from Asia were up between 0.25-0.66 percent.

European markets also were quoting better in their early trade. France's CAC was up 0.35 percent, Germany's DAX 0.30 percent and the UK's FTSE by 0.02 percent.

Back home, 19 shares from the Sensex pack closed with gains. Major gainers were HDFC (3.17 percent), Sun Pharma (2.75 percent), M&M (2.63 percent), Bharti Airtel (1.65 percent), ICICI Bank (1.64 percent), HUL (1.47 percent), Coal India (1.18 percent), Tata Power (1.14 percent), Infosys (1.05 percent) and Tata Motors (1.03 percent).

On the losing side, besides L&T, BHEL dropped by 7.05 percent, Tata Steel 2.95 percent, ONGC 2.85 percent, Dr Reddy's Lab 1.71 percent and RIL 1.59 percent.

Among other sectoral indices, S&P BSE-Oil&Gas declined by 1.65 percent and S&P BSE-Power by 0.91 percent.

S&P BSE-Auto rose by 1.06 percent, followed by S&P BSE-Bankex (0.98 percent) and S&P BSE-IT (0.73 percent).

The market breadth remained as 1,233 stocks closed down while 1,032 scrips settled higher. Total turnover moved down further to Rs 1,651.00 crore from Rs 1,929.18 crore on Friday.

Meanwhile, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 252.26 crore on last Friday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.