Although indices in the Indian stock markets came off the day's lows during the closing stages, they still ended significantly in the red. While BSE-Sensex lost in the region of 155 points (down 0.9%), decline on the NSE-Nifty came in at around 54 points. BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices also suffered a fall to the tune of 0.6% and 0.7% respectively. Advance to decline on the Sensex though was quite evenly matched with there being one gainer for every loser.
Most Asian indices however closed the day in the positive and Europe too is trading in the green currently. The rupee was trading at Rs 49.1 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Today was the first time in 2012 that the markets closed lower for the week. But not before gaining 18% from the start of the year till the end of last week. Thus, if the markets go up so fast, so soon and that too without any perceptible improvement in fundamentals, a correction always seems round the corner. Whether the correction is just a temporary blip before another round of buying or whether it is all downhill from here is for the time to decide we believe. What we can decide though is to look at fundamentally strong companies trading at attractive valuations from a long term perspective and investing in them regardless of where the overall markets are.
Bharti Airtel, India's largest cellular service provider gained close to 1% on the bourses today. The optimism seemed the result of a first of its kind mobile wallet service launched by the company on a pan India basis. Available across 300 cities, the service is a fast, simple and secure way to allow users to load cash on mobile devices. It not only serves as an alternative to cash/card payment, but can also transfer money from one Airtel money wallet to another Airtel money wallet. The national launch of this service follows its success in the first phase of its launch in Delhi NCR and Chennai.
Ranbaxy Laboratories, one of India's largest home grown pharma majors, announced its December 2011 results today. On a consolidated basis, the company has reported net loss of Rs 30 bn in the quarter against a net loss of Rs 975 m in the same period last year. This despite the 78% YoY growth in total income during the quarter. Consolidated losses for the full year stood at Rs 29 bn despite a 13% growth in topline. Predictably, the stock closed lower by 3% on the bourses today.