The stock markets in Mumbai refused to bow before the terrorists,closing successfully in the green today just hours after the devastating serial blasts shook the city,indicating the innate resourcefullness of the citizens as well as their desire to show that no terrorist can bring this cosmopolitan city to a standstill.
At the start of the day,it was widely predicted by analysts that the stock markets would plummet today as investors would have been scared into panic selling by the blasts that killed 18 people and injured scores.
After fluctuating 350 points in highly volatile trading today,the BSE Sensex ended barely 22 points up at 18,618 in late sell-off amid lingering concerns over bomb blasts and spurt in inflation,which fanned worries that interest rates will go up further.
Stock markets opened on an anxious note,down about 150 points,after last evening’s bomb lasts in the city which killed 21 people and injured 140,but later surged over 200 points only to erase gains in fag-end buying.
Meanwhile,although lower-than-expected,overall inflation surged to 9.44 per cent in June from 9.06 per cent in May. For April,the numbers were revised upwards to 9.74 per cent. Food inflation also shot up to 8.31 per cent for week ended July 2,from 7.61 per cent in the preceding week.
Brokers said this renewed investor concerns that the Reserve Bank will further increase key rates to tame prices.
It has done so 10 times since March last year,pushing up borrowing costs for corporates and hitting margins.
Besides,investor cues from global markets were weak.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer started weak and touched a low of 18,449.23. However,it rebound to 18,803.05 — up 207 points. But heavy profit-booking in the last few minutes pulled it down to close at 18,618.20,up 22.18 points or 0.12 per cent.
“By mid-session,marketmen seemed to discount the bomb blasts and weak trends in Europe and Asia. But,the market hesitated on its upward journey for a while on higher inflation data,raising concerns of another rate hike by RBI in its next policy meeting later this month. Besides,Bajaj Auto’s numbers were below street expectation,” said Shanu Goel,Senior Research Analyst at Bonanza Portfolio.
Banking counters,mainly ICICI and SBI,notched up good gains and were major contributers to the market gains. ICICI Bank closed up 1.40 per cent and SBI 1.39 per cent.
A Smart rise in HDFC,L&T,Tata Motors,RIL,Jindal Steel,Cipla and DLF too aided the Sensex to end in the positive terrain.
However,IT counters continued to bear the brunt of selling pressure since Infosys Q1 results on July 12. TCS took a beating ahead of its numbers this evening and finished 2.23 per cent down,while Infosys continued fell 1.55 per cent.
Asian stocks ended narrowly mixed after Moody’s said on Wednesday it may cut the US triple-A debt rating. The key benchmark indices in China,Hong Kong,South Korea and Singapore closed with modest gains while from Japan and Taiwan ended with small losses.
European markets were trading down in afternoon deals. The CAC was down by about 0.8 per cent,the DAX by 0.3 per cent and the FTSE by 0.6 per cent.
Back home,after overnight selling FIIs picked up shares worth Rs 315.95 crore yesterday as per provisional data.
Of the Sensex pack,18 scrips ended in gains,while 12 finishing with losses. Gainers were DLF (3.15 pc),Tata Motors (1.95 pc),Cipla (1.84 pc),Jindal Steel (1.32 pc),Maruti Suzuki (1.20 pc),HDFC (1.01 pc) and Larsen (0.86 pc),while RCom fell 1.42 per cent,Bajaj Auto (1.25 pc),ONGC (1.18 pc),NTPC (1.13 pc) and Hero Honda (1.09 pc).
Among the sectoral indices,BSE-Realty shot up 2.26 per cent,followed by Bankex (1.40 pc). IT fell 1.47 per cent and the BSE-Teck by 1.01 per cent.
The total market breadth at BSE remained positive as 1,590 stocks ended with gains,while 1,219 finished with losses. The total turnover rose to Rs 2,782.36 crore from Rs 2,578.92 crore yesterday.