Against 413 stocks that hit fresh lows, only 3 hit the highs

There appeared to be no respite in sight for the market and nowhere it was more evident than in the ratio of stocks that closed the day at 52-week high vis-à-vis stocks that hit their yearly bottom on the NSE on Friday.

While there were four stocks that touched a new yearly high, the number of shares that fell to their 52-week low was 413 and it grew by the hour in the exchange (at 12.30 p.m., 360 stocks hit 52-week lows). In fact, only Kansai Nerolac Paints, Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals, Lupin and Rasoya Proteins hit fresh 52-week highs.

The severity of the fall could be judged from the fact that for every one stock that touched a new 52-week high, there were 103 stocks that dipped to new 52-week lows.

Not sector-specific

The decline in the market was not sector specific. It was true that IT and FMCG appeared to have largely escaped the wrath of the investors, at least in so far as shares that dipped to new 52-week low on the day.

But what appeared to be more pronounced was the fall in share prices of auto component companies, capital goods and to a limited extent, banking.

However, it was surprising to see that pharma shares, which generally were providing some cushion to the investors in a falling market, were not spared and two MNC pharma stocks — Astra Zeneca Pharma India and Pfizer — slumped to their 52-week lows, along with Amrutanjan Health Care Ltd.

In the metal space two giants in the segment — Hindalco and Tata Steel — dipped to 52-week lows and a fair number of PSU bank stocks too made to the ranks of stocks falling to 52-week lows — IOB (Rs 65) IDBI Bank (Rs 80.75), UCO Bank (Rs 54.20 and Punjab & Sind Bank (Rs 58.15).

Dredging Corporation of India, whose tax-free bond issue was reportedly cold-shouldered by investors, fell to a low of Rs 190.70.

yegya.narayanan@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on March 22, 2013)
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