Persistent selling activity led the Indian markets to fall deeper into the red as the day progressed. The BSE-Sensex finally closed with losses of about 255 points or 1.3%, while the NSE-Nifty ended lower by about 83 points or 1.4%. Losses were seen across the board with those from the engineering, banking and metal spaces leading the pack of losers. Stocks from the mid and smallcap spaces also ended with losses as the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices were down by about 0.8% and 1.1% respectively.
Stock markets in other parts of Asia traded weak with Hong Kong and China down by about 0.5%, while Japan was down by about 1.8%. The rupee was trading at Rs 62.27 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Stocks of aluminium companies ended the day on a weak note with Hindalco Industries and Nalco down by about 3.5% and 0.5% respectively. The aluminum manufacturing company Hindalco announced its standalone financial results for the quarter ended December 2013. Net sales for the company increased by 5.8% YoY while net profits decreased by 23% YoY. The top-line of the company has increased by 5.5% YoY on the back of lower volumes. The operating profits of the company increased by 8.1% YoY due to lower input costs. Operating margins were up by 0.2% YoY. However, net profits declined by 23% YoY due to higher tax outgo and lower other income. Net margins too have declined by 1.7% YoY. For the nine month ended December 2013, net sales increased by 1.9% YoY while net profits decreased by 4.3% YoY.
Stocks from the pharmaceutical sector ended the day on a weak note with Cipla, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals and Cadila Healthcare leading the pack of losers. The weakness in the stock of Cipla was on the back of the company announcing a weak set of results for the third quarter and nine month period ended December 2013. The company's revenues grew by 22% YoY largely led by the strong 32% YoY growth in export formulations. The domestic business recorded a growth of 13% YoY growth during the quarter, which was decent given the negative impact of the new drug pricing policy that most other pharma companies had to deal with. The company's operating margins, however, fell by 6.6% YoY to 18.1% during the quarter on account of a rise in all cost heads. This led to a 10% YoY decline in operating profits. A poor operating performance coupled with a surge in interest costs led to the 16.5% YoY fall in the profits. For the nine month period, revenues were up 20% YoY, while net profits came in lower by 11% YoY.