Selling pressure that came into being during the latter half of the day saw itself intensifying during the closing hours and as a consequence, indices in the Indian stock market ended sharply lower for the day. BSE-Sensex closed nearly 300 points lower over its previous close while losses on the NSE-Nifty stood in the region of 95 points (down 1.8%). BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices did not lose as much and closed around 1% lower. Only about one stock gained on the Sensex for every five that edged lower.
Most other Asian indices too closed the day in the negative with the European indices also trading weak currently. The rupee was trading at Rs 46.5 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Today's decline has come after three days of strong buying and it has virtually undone all the gains witnessed during the period. Effectively, the market is back to levels at which it started the week. The reason the indices ended lower today had perhaps to do with the fact that Obama's jobs plan did not really enthuse investors a great deal. Furthermore, there are fears that political wrangling could lead to the plan getting diluted even further. With investors not wanting to live with this uncertainty, they chose to exit their positions, which eventually led to the markets going lower.
State owned aluminium major National Aluminium Company Ltd. (NALCO) touched closed lower by 2% today on account of the broader weakness but not before witnessing some strength earlier in the session. What could have made the share price to go up initially are the reports of the company entering into a contract for selling aluminium ingots. The quantity is said to be to the tune of 7,500 tonnes on a cost, insurance and freight basis. On the pricing front, the sale is believed to have occurred at nearly US$ 102 per tonne premium over the average LME price. It should be noted that the company's tenders serve as a global benchmark. The company has Asia's largest integrated aluminium complex, encompassing bauxite mining, alumina refining, aluminium smelting and casting, power generation, rail and port operations.
Bharti Airtel, India's largest cellular operator has received permission to offer second and third generation services in the African nation of Rwanda. The move will expand the company's global footprint to 20 countries and it is likely to pump in US$ 100 m over three years in Rwanda. Bharti will likely offer the best yet affordable mobile service and innovative products and will expand wireless broadband network to all major towns of the country. It should be noted Rwanda is a key telecom market with immense growth potential and will give strength to company's East African operations. The stock closed marginally higher today.