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Sensex falls below 20k
Tue, 19 Oct Closing

Sideways movement gave way to heavy profit booking during the closing stages of the day. As a consequence, the benchmark indices closed significantly in the red today. Important to note that the BSE Sensex also closed below the psychologically crucial mark of 20,000. It lost around 185 points (down 0.9%) whereas NSE Nifty lost around 65 points (down 1.1%) today. BSE Midcap and small cap indices on the other hand managed to carve out gains for themselves, closing higher by 0.2% respectively. The advance to decline ratio on the BSE stood at nearly 4 times with around 4 stocks declining for every one that gained in price.

Most Asian stocks closed strong today whereas Europe has also opened on a positive note. The rupee was trading at Rs 44.3 to the dollar at the time of writing.

FIIs appear to be considering a reshuffle of their portfolios a bit. This was evident from the fact that while India has seen some amount of declines in recent days, its Chinese counterparts have gone from strength to strength. For the record, Shanghai composite, the Chinese benchmark has gone up around 13% in the month of October and looks poised for more gains ahead. India meanwhile also seems to be bearing the brunt of its upcoming mother of all IPOs ie. Coal India. Longer term though, India's growth story remains as promising as ever.

TV broadcasting major Zee Entertainment closed strongly today. The optimism was perhaps triggered by news in a leading daily that the channel will launch 2-3 new niche channels with a focus on lifestyle segments like golf and food, by the end of the current fiscal. Infact, the company has plans to launch 6-7 new channels out of which about 2-3 would be niche. Also on the anvil is a kids channel. However, the same is likely to take some time. The company did not share any information with respect to the capex planned for the launch of new channels. It should be noted that the company has a network of around 32 channels currently with a strong offering in the regional language domain as well.

Bajaj Auto, the two-wheeler major announced its second quarter results today. Its net sales grew by 50% YoY, led by volumes growth of 46% YoY. The company sold over 1 m units during the quarter. Operating profits increased by 42% YoY on the back of a 1.4% YoY contraction in operating margins. This was on the back of higher costs of raw material and purchases. Net profits on the other hand, rose by 69% YoY on the back of a strong operating performance coupled with higher other income and an extraordinary loss during the corresponding quarter last year. On excluding this extraordinary loss, profits during the quarter rose by 52% YoY. Thus, while the topline growth was along expected lines, the fall in operating margins does point towards a bit of a caution going forward. The stock closed lower by 1% today.

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