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Nifty struggles below 8,550; capital goods shares slump

NTPC, GAIL, CIL, L&T and BHEL are the top losers

Benchmark indices continue to trade on a flat note with the gains in pharmaceuticals and select financials being wiped off by the losses in capital goods and oil shares.
 
At 12:53PM, the 30-share Sensex and the 50-share Nifty were flat at the mark of 28,175 and 8,542 respectively. 
 
In the broader market, both the BSE Midcap index, down 0.1% and Smallcap index, down 0.4% have underperformed the front-liners. Market breadth in BSE is negative with 1,530 declines against 900 advances.    
 
 
Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors were net buyers in equities worth Rs 738 crore as per provisional stock exchange data.
 
Buzzing Stocks
 
7 out of the 12 sectoral indices of BSE are in red. BSE Capital Goods and Metal indices down over 1% each are the top losers followed by BSE Power index down around 0.7%. BSE Healthcare index, up 0.6% is the lead gainer.
 
Mortgage lender HDFC was up over 1%. The stock was quoted ex-dividend today. The board had announced an interim dividend of Rs 2 per equity share and fixed March 26, 2015 as the record date. ICICI Bank has gained over 1.5% and HDFC Bank and Axis Bank are marginally higher by 0.2%. SBI is down 0.8%.
 
Tata Motors is up 0.7% ahead of its board meet today for the proposed rights issue to raise up to Rs 7,500 crore and buyback of secured NCDs worth Rs 1,250 crore maturing on March 31, 2016.  Maruti Suzuki is up 0.4% while Hero Motocorp and Bajaj Auto have declined 0.4% and 0.6% each.
 
Capital goods shares are under pressure in today’s session with L&T and BHEL losing 1.7% and 1.3% respectively.
From pharma space, Dr Reddys Lab and  
Oil and gas shares remain subdued. RIL has shed 0.6%, GAIL is down over 2% and ONGC is down over 1%.

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