IT stocks lost ground on profit taking after a recent rally. FMCG majors Hindustan Lever and ITC slipped and fall in some of the index heavyweights like ONGC and ICICI Bank also weighed on the barometer index.
Auto, metal and select PSU bank scrips edged higher. Buying was conspicuous in caustic soda makers. A host of MNC affiliates spurted.
Sensex lost 27.08 points or 0.24% to settle at 11,279.96. The S&P CNX Nifty lost 16.40 points or 0.48% at 3,402.55.For the quarter ended 31 March 2006, Sensex recorded a massive rise of 1,882.03 points or 20% from 9,397.93 on 30 December 2005.
The market opened on a firm note today but the Sensex had soon witnessed a sharp fall in early trade before it recovered from lower level instantly. It held positive territory for a better part of trading before weakness gripped the market in late trading. Sensex moved 125.79 points for the day between a low of 11,231.16 and a high of 11,356.95. Today’s high of 11,356.95 is a new all time high for the barometer index.
The market breadth was strong. 1,734 stocks rose on BSE as compared to 748 scrips that declined. 66 stocks were unchanged. Gainers outpaced losers by a ratio of 2.31:1.
Bhel jumped 6% to Rs 2,265. The company is slated to unveil its provisional financial year for FY 2006 on 3 April 2006.
Ranbaxy plunged 4% to Rs 432.50. The scrip had spurted in the past two days after the company announced major overseas acquisitions.
But Cipla rose 4% to Rs 663. Recently, Cipla had announced record date for a liberal 3:2 bonus issue.
Auto stocks rose on expectation of strong sales for March 2006. Light commercial vehicles maker Eicher Motors jumped 15% to Rs 306.95, Force Motors rose 5% to Rs 588, Ashok Leyland gained 4% to Rs 40.40, Tata Motors gained 3% to Rs 936, Bajaj Auto rose 1.7% to Rs 2,741 and car major Maruti Udyog gained 2% to Rs 873.
Metal scrips held firm on expectation of hike in domestic prices. Steel major Tata Steel gained 2.7% to Rs 536.50. The market expects a between 7-10% hike in prices by steel firms in April 2006 due to firm global prices. Hindustan Zinc rose 4.5% to Rs 524 after LME zinc prices struck a new all time high on Thursday.
IT stocks slipped on profit taking. TCS shed 2.7% to Rs 1,914, Infosys lost 1.9% to Rs 2,975, and Wipro shed 0.8% to Rs 559.