Sensex slips 120 points after 2 weeks of gains; IT stocks shine

Sensex slips 120 points after 2 weeks of gains; IT stocks shine Mumbai: The market moved downwards after a two-week of gaining string as wary investors opted to book profits after recent gains ahead of the start of corporate earning season amid tail-end weak macroeconomic factors.

The BSE benchmark Sensex moved down by over 120 points to end to 19,663.64.

Capital goods, consumer durable, FMCG, power, metal and realty stocks were at the receiving end of selling, while IT stocks flared up after India's second largest software services exporter, Infosys, declared better-than-expected Q3 results on Friday and also raised its annual revenue guidance.

Second-line stocks attracted heavy profit-booking by retail investors and underperformed the 30-share Sensex. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices dropped by over 2 percent.

The Sensex resumed the week on a firm note and immediately touched a fresh two-year high of 19,856.43. It, however, could not maintain the tempo and turned negative as cautious operators and investors went on offloading ahead of Infosys' Q3 results.

The key BSE index later dipped to settle the week at 19,663.64, a fall of 120.44 points, or 0.61 percent. The Sensex had spurted by 542.08 points, or 2.81 percent, in the last two weeks.

Similarly, the wide-based 50-issue Nifty of the NSE initially logged a two-year high of 6,042.15. But it succumbed to selling and fell below the 6,000-mark to end at 5,951.30, displaying a loss of 64.85 points, or 1.08 percent.

Sharp gains registered on Friday in the morning trade due to good Q3 numbers by Infosys were later washed out after the poor industrial production data and fall in exports.

The index of industrial production (IIP) contracted to a four-month low of 0.1 percent in November as against a robust 8.3 percent in October (due to a lower base effect and a strong festive season-driven rebound in the manufacturing segment), triggered a bout of profit-booking on Friday.

The sentiment got a further eroded after data showed that India's exports contracted by 1.9 per cent in December, leaving a trade deficit of USD 17.6 billion versus USD 14.7 billion in the same month of previous year.

Tension between India and Pakistan following brutal killing of two soldiers by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch also had a negative impact on the market.

According to market participants, the Sensex seems to be consolidating near the 20,000-level and Nifty at 6,000-mark before making any move either side.

The market is now looking at the Reserve Bank's monetary policy meeting on January 29 when investors are expecting a cut in key rates after weak economic data.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) continued their buying spree and pumped in Rs 3,866.38 crore in the market during the week, including provisional data of January 11.

Overall, 20 of the 30 Sensex scrips closed with losses, indicating broad-based sell-off, while others finished with gains.

HUL was the top loser from the Sensex pack, dropping by 6.60 percent, followed by BHEL 6.29 percent, L&T 5.91 percent, Jindal Steel 5.65 percent, Hindalco 4.15 percent, Bajaj Auto 3.97 percent, NTPC 3.87 percent, Tata Steel 3.80 percent, HDFC 3.34 percent, ITC 3.15 percent,

Tata Power 3.00 percent, Hero Motocorp 2.62 percent, RIL 2.49 percent, Sterlite Inds 2.45 percent, Gail 1.84 percent, HDFC Bank 1.55 percent and Cipla dipped 1.30 percent.

However, Infosys spurted by 15.51 percent, Tata Motors 4.70 percent, Wipro 4.02 percent, ONGC 2.55 percent and Maruti Suzuki 1.42 percent.

Among sectoral indices, the BSE-CG dropped by 5.01 percent, BSE-CD by 4.23 percent, BSE-FMCG by 3.72 percent, BSE- Power by 3.19 percent, BSE-Metal by 3.12 percent, BSE-Realty by 2.44 percent and Bankex 1.34 percent, while the BSE-IT rose by 7.82 percent, BSE-Teck by 5.63 percent and BSE-Auto by 0.36 percent.

The total turnover on the BSE and the NSE improved further to Rs 13,452.18 crore and Rs 64,590.36 crore from last weekend's turnover of Rs 11,432.15 crore and Rs 52,712.07 crore.

PTI