Poor IIP, exports data spoils Infosys cheer; Sensex ends flat

 The BSE Sensex today registered probably the most negligible change in its history -- 0.09 points -- from its previous close to end the day at 19,663.64, after poor IIP and exports data washed away handsome gains recorded on Infosys earnings beating expectations.

The Sensex was up by over 175 points in early trade after the IT giant declared better-than -expected third quarter profits and raised its full-year sales forecast, triggering a 17 per cent surge in its stock price.

"The results season has begun with an encouraging guidance and better than estimated profit from Infosys," said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.

Other IT counters attracted buying support with TCS and Wipro up by 6.10 per cent and 3.80 per cent respectively.

However, a 0.1 per cent fall in the index of industrial production (IIP) data for November triggered a bout of profit-booking in markets from mid-session.

"IIP for November continued to highlight the weak trend in economic activity," said Kotak Securities.

The sentiment further aggravated after data showed country's exports contracted by 1.9 per cent in December, leaving a trade deficit of USD 17.6 billion.

In Sensex, Reliance Industries, Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors, BHEL, ICICI Band, SBI, ONGC Tata Motores and Tata Power saw significant losses.

Selling in stocks was seen across-the-board as 10 out of 13 sectoral indices closed lower with FMCG, realty, PSU, power, refinery, banking and metal segments suffering most.
The broader Nifty of the NSE declined by 17.35 points or 0.29 per cent at 5,951.30, extending losses for the third straight day.

Infosys net profit at Rs 2,369 crore in October-December was marginally lower than Rs 2,372 crore logged in the same period a year ago, but higher than market expectations.

That prompted Infosys to raise its sales forecast by about 3 per cent to Rs 40,746 crore.
Globally, Asian stocks ended mixed today with indices from China, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea closing with losses while those from Japan and Taiwan ending with gains.

From Europe, the DAX was trading up by 0.19 per cent and the FTSE by 0.08 per cent while the CAC was quoting lower by 0.11 per cent.

Back home, 26 out of 30 Sensex-based scrips settled weak while others ended firm. Jindal Steel was the top loser from the Sensex pack with a fall of 3.53 per cent, followed by HUL (3.51 pc), ONGC (3.28 pc), M&M (2.83 pc), ITC (2.63 pc), Hindalco (2.23 pc), BHEL (2.01 pc), HDFC (1.90 pc), SBI (1.90 pc), Sun Pharma (1.81 pc) and Tata Power (1.79 pc).

Bharti Airtel (1.58 pc), Coal India (1.38 pc), RIL (1.21 pc), ICICI Bank (1.17 pc), NTPC (1.13 pc), Bajaj Auto (1.03 pc) and Tata Motors (0.97 pc) also suffered losses.

Among sectoral indices, BSE-FMCG dipped by 2.47 per cent, followed by BSE-Realty (1.89 pc), BSE-PSU (1.74 pc), BSE-Power (1.72 pc), BSE-Oil&Gas (1.67 pc), BSE-Bankex (1.37 pc) and BSE-Metal (1.31 pc), BSE-CG (1.29 pc) and BSE-HC (1.27 pc).

However, BSE-IT soared by 9.34 per cent, BSE-TECk by 6.57 per cent and BSE-Consumer Durables inched up by 0.21 per cent.

"Overall for the week, the closing of indices was disappointing and technically, it could result into some more selling pressure in the coming wee," said Nagji K Rita, CMD, Inventure Growth & Securities.

The total market breadth remained negative as 1,964 stocks closed with losses while 982 finished with gains.

Total turnover was low at Rs 2,528.72 crore from Rs 3,034.41 crore yesterday. Meanwhile, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought shares worth Rs 249.50 crore yesterday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.

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