Markets made a dash towards the breakeven point during the closing hours of the day. Although they did succeed to close above the same, they could not manage to go past the intra-day highs. As a consequence, gains on the Sensex were restricted to a little over 20 points (up 0.12%) whereas Nifty ended nearly flat. BSE Mid cap and Small cap indices on the other hand continued to behave as if they are from a different planet and notched up gains in the region of 0.4% and 0.6% respectively. More than three stocks gained for every one that declined on the Sensex today.
Most Asian markets ended lower today whereas Europe is also trading in the red currently. The rupee was trading at Rs 46.7 to the dollar at the time of writing.
The markets opened significantly in the red today. However, midway through the day, it looked like we will have another positive closing what with the quick recovery in the indices. But it was not to be. As news from Europe in the form of renewed sovereign debt fears started trickling in, Indian markets too lost ground. And all that the Sensex could manage in the end was a marginally positive closing. Coming back to Europe, bond yields for peripheral Eurozone countries widened vis-a-vis the German treasuries, reigniting fears of another round of sovereign debt crisis in these nations. This led to investors fleeing risky assets and moving to the relative safety of yen, Swiss franc and gold.
One blue chip stock that defied the trend of the day was telecom behemoth Bharti Airtel. The stock closed higher by 3% on the bourses today and emerged as one of the highest gainers. With today's gains, it has moved up some 40% from its 52-week lows. There weren't many who were expecting such a quick turnaround. The stock seems a beneficiary of the talks surrounding the consolidation of the telecom sector, which is looking more and more like a foregone conclusion these days. Needless to say, Bharti is perceived to be among the last men standing when such a scenario does indeed unfurl. Besides being the largest operator in the country, it is also the most profitable.
Furthermore, before the acquisition of Zain, it also had in its possession amongst the strongest balance sheets in the sector. This is not to say that the acquisition has turned out to be a bad deal for the company. Although it is too early to conclude anything, the initial signs have indeed been quite positive. All in all, good days seem to be back for India's largest mobile operator. However, how much of the upside is already captured in the price remains to be seen.