The closing hours saw the indices touching fresh intraday lows and then recovering quickly from there on. However, a negative closing could not be averted with the indices ending the day in the red. The BSE Sensex closed lower by around 95 points (down 0.5%) whereas NSE Nifty lost around 30 points (down 0.5%). BSE Midcap and small cap indices witnessed contrasting trends with the latter gaining marginally while the former ending marginally lower. Nearly three stocks declined for every one that gained on the Sensex today.
Asian indices closed mixed today whereas Europe was trading largely in the negative at the time of writing. The rupee was trading at Rs 45.6 to the dollar at the time of writing.
The current decline seems a continuation of the profit booking trend that would have crept in following strong gains of the past few days. There was all the more reason to do so absent any signals from either the Asian or the US markets. Furthermore, continued strong inflation numbers acted as yet another dampener.
Engineering major Punj Lloyd was among the few stocks that closed pretty strong today. The buoyancy in the counter seemed a consequence of the company’s Saudi unit winning a construction contract from the Saudi oil giant Aramco for its Yanbu export refinery project. As per reports, the contract is for engineering, procurement and construction of offsite pipelines for the Red Sea Refining Company being set up on the Western coast of the Kingdom along the Red sea. Interestingly, this is the first major pipeline project in the Kingdom for the company and will be a foundation stone for exploring more opportunities in the sector and strengthening its footprint in the market.
Analysts may be expecting a correction in cement prices in India but this has not stopped sector companies to come out with some pretty aggressive capex plans. Shree Cement being a case in point. As per reports, the company will invest around Rs 35 bn over the next five years so that its capacity can be taken up from 13 m tonnes currently to 20 m tonnes. The company is in the process of setting up a greenfield cement plant in Karnataka with a total investment of Rs 20 bn. The company is also into the power sector with a generation capacity of 210 MW, which is set to go up to 560 MW by December 2011. The stock closed marginally lower today.