The Indian markets ended flat today after two days of gains as hopes for new measures from the recently appointed finance minister brought relief to sceptical investors. The cut in India’s gross domestic forecast (GDP) forecast by the foreign research firms CLSA, Goldman Sachs and Citi to 5.5% and 5.4% from 6% and 6.2% dampened sentiment today along with poor results from telecom major Bharti Airtel.
The fall in the last hour could also be attributed to some profit booking after the recent rally. Realty, Telecom, Banking and Capital Goods stocks came under pressure today.The markets fell on weak overall volumes of over Rs 1.69 lakh crore while the turnover for NSE F&O segment too remained on the lower side as compared to that on Tuesday at over Rs 1.16 lakh crore.
A sharp reversal in the European markets and a mixed performance of other Asian indices earlier today also dampened the sentiment on Dalal Street.
Furthermore, a weak monsoon, high interest rates, increasing twin deficits, stubborn inflation and policy impasse at the Centre too dampened the sentiments. The regular disruption of the Parliament on the first day of monsoon session also created doubts over the government’s ability to push through key economic bills.
The Sensex ended almost unchanged at 17,600. It opened at 17,638. The NSE Nifty closed static at 5,338.
Bharti Airtel crashed 6.6% as its consolidated net profit fell higher than expected 24.23% quarter-on-quarter to Rs 762.2 crore in the quarter ended June 2012 while analysts on an average had expected it in the vicinity of Rs 1,075 crore.
Mahindra & Mahindra rose nearly 4 percent after the company posted a better-than-expected 20 percent rise in quarterly profit as strong demand for its sporty cars offset sluggish sales at its key tractor business, boosting its shares.
Reliance Industries amassed gains of over half a percent after management committee for the D6 field in Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin on August 7 conditionally approved the budget and work programmes for the field that have been pending for the last three years.
ICICI Bank toppled Bharti Airtel to become the country’s 10th most valued firm in terms of market capitalisation, pushing the telecom major out of the top-10 list following a sharp fall in its share price.
Strength in index bellwethers such as M&M, Hindalco, Sterlite Industries, HUL, Infosys, Reliance Industries and Tata Motors has more than offset weakness in Bharti Airtel, GAIL, ICICI Bank, TCS, L&T and ONGC.
Meanwhile, considering deficient monsoon rains and its impact on rural areas in India, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has come up with a breather to the farmers by easing repayment norms for Kisan Credit Cards (KCC). The apex bank has omitted the clause pertaining to mandatory repayment of loans by card holders within a year and has permitted banks to fix the repayment period based on the anticipated harvesting and marketing period for the crops for which loan has been granted.