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FIIs send the markets tumbling
Fri, 28 Jan Closing

Although the indices came off the day's lows during the closing hours, they still managed to close the day as well as the week, deep in the red. The BSE-Sensex closed lower by around 290 points whereas NSE-Nifty edged lower by around 80 points (down 1.4%). The BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices fared even worse, losing 2.7% and 3.6% respectively. More than four stocks declined for every stock that gained on the Sensex today.

While the Asian indices closed mixed today, Europe is also trading a mixed bag currently. The rupee was poised at Rs 45.8 to the dollar at the time of writing.

After accounting for today's decline, the BSE Sensex has shed close to 600 points during the week. Certainly not a number to be ignored. It highlights the growing disillusionment among investors especially the FIIs over the near term India growth story. It isn't that India has become unattractive all of a sudden. It is just that other markets like the US are looking more attractive from a near term perspective and hence, has become more favourable haven for speculation. There is every possibility that the current bout of correction could be overdone and hence, it could present a very good opportunity for long term investors to jump in and lock in the India growth story at a pretty attractive price. Do keep your eyes out for companies with strong fundamentals, which are run by honest and capable management teams.

Bajaj Electricals, the mid cap major was amongst the few stocks that lost less than the 3% decline witnessed in the BSE Midcap index. Infact, the stock closed only marginally down. This relatively better performance could be put down to decent set of numbers announced by the company for the December quarter. It managed to grow its bottomline by 19% YoY on the back of an exactly similar growth in topline. Operating margins though came in slightly lower as it shrunk close to 20 basis points. However, it still is a commendable performance given the cost pressures it faced on account of prices of key raw materials like copper and aluminium. Company's consumer durables segment, which accounted for nearly half of its total revenues grew by a strong 34% and was able to offset the flat growth of its other key division of engineering and projects. However, the company has expressed confidence that even this segment will turn in a good performance in the forthcoming quarters, thus helping boost profitability growth still further.

With a decline of 5%, BSE Realty index was the worst hit amongst all the sectoral indices today. Infact, heavyweights like HDIL and DLF were seen losing anywhere between 7% and 10%. The reasons seem to be obvious. With interest rates on the rise and with realty prices at their peak, one would be termed as too optimistic if one assumes that realty companies would do well in the not too distant future. As a matter of fact, even during much better times for the sector, most of the companies did not succeed in paring down debt to manageable levels and thus, strengthen their balance sheets. Their struggles when the industry would be in a downturn is perhaps, too apparent to be missed. Little wonder, investors seem to be avoiding realty sector stocks like the plague at the moment.

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