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Oil & gas, FMCG least preferred today
Fri, 25 Apr Closing

After witnessing a sharp sell off during the post noon trading session, the Indian stock markets failed to recover as they ended the day on a weak note. The BSE-Sensex closed lower by about 190 points or 0.8%. The NSE-Nifty closed lower by about 58 points or 0.9%. Barring stocks from the realty, healthcare and consumer durables spaces, losses were seen across the board with oil and gas, FMCG and engineering stocks being amongst the least preferred today. The BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices ended the day on a weak note as well, with the indices closing lower by about 0.3% and 0.6% respectively.

Stock markets in other parts of Asia ended the day on a mixed note with Japan closing higher by about 0.2% while Hong Kong and China closed lower by about 1.5% and 1% respectively. The rupee was trading at Rs 61.12 to the dollar at the time of writing.

Stocks of engineering companies closed weak today with Crompton Greaves, Praj Industries and Punj Lloyd leading the pack of losers. The stock of L&T closed lower by about 2% despite news of the company winning a large sized order. As reported by a leading business daily, the company's construction division L&T Construction won an order of Rs 45.1 bn (US$ 740 m)from the Qatar Railway Company for the design and construction of the Gold Line of the Doha Metro Project in Qatar. This order has been secured along with its joint venture partners. The total size of the order is worth US$ 3.3 bn (about Rs 200 bn). The project is scheduled to be completed in 54 months. It is believed that L&T has been focusing on overseas orders given the slow moving pace of the sector back home. The company's order book stands at over Rs 1.7 trillion, and as per the management, it is likely to grow at a pace of 15%.

Auto stocks ended the day on a weak note led by Ashok Leyland and Bajaj Auto. The stock of Maruti Suzuki was amongst the top losers today on account of the company reporting a poor set of numbers for the quarter ended March 2014. Maruti's profits declined by 35% YoY during the quarter, while its revenues fell by 9.5% YoY. As per the company, lower volumes coupled with high promotional expenses as well as stock compensation to dealers (due to reduction in duties) impacted performance. During the quarter, its volumes declined by 5.5% YoY to 324,870 units. For the full year FY14, sales volumes stood at 1,155,041 units which is a figure lower by 1.4% on a year on year basis. The company's board recommended a dividend of Rs 12 per share.

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