Vidya Bala

Markets witnessed the full force of the bear's rampage on Wednesday with the Sensitive Index losing over two per cent. The broad markets were also engulfed in profit booking. This was reflected in the declining stocks outnumbering the advancing stocks by a ratio of 2.5:1. The pessimism was seen across Asian markets as well as a majority of them closed in the red.

Decline in confidence of FIIs was evident from the net outflows in derivatives market. Overseas investors were net sellers of equity derivatives to the tune of Rs 1,600 crore.

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Stocks in limelight

Recently listed stock,

Reliance Natural Resources

evinced buying interest throughout the day. The stock rose 20 per cent to Rs 26. 195-lakh shares of the company were traded at the BSE.

Gulf Oil Corporation

surged by 19.7 per cent to Rs 878.6.The stock has gained close to 30 per cent since March 1.

Grindwell Norton

added 16 per cent to close at Rs 614. More than two lakh shares of the company were traded at the Mumbai stock exchange.

Sector focus

The capital goods sector continued to power ahead and made significant gains in a market that witnessed all-round selling. In the large-cap space

ABB

and

Siemens

continued their northward journey.

Crompton Greaves, Emco, Areva T&D

and

Numeric Power Systems

were key gainers in the power equipment space. Power stocks such as

NEPC, Power Trading Corporation

and

CESC

also closed in the green. The dream run of the likes of

KEC Infrastructure, Havells India

and

Kalpataru Power Transmissions,

however, came to a halt as the stocks succumbed to challenges from the bear.

The Supreme Court's verdict in favour of property developers in Mumbai continued to shed positive light on the real estate stocks.

Bombay Dyeing

and

Ansal Housing and Construction

marched ahead and closed with gains of four and five per cent respectively.

Metal stocks lost sheen and came under selling pressure.

JSW Steel, Jindal Stainless, Hindalco

and

Hindustan Zinc

witnessed profit booking throughout the day.

FMCG stocks showed signs of slowing down. Apart from declines witnessed by heavy weights

Hindustan Lever

and

ITC

, stocks such as

McDowell, Shaw Wallace

and

Britannia Industries

also ended in the red.

Stock-specific action

Shriram Transport Finance Company approved the merger of Shriram Overseas Finance with itself. The former will give three shares of the company for every five shares held by the latter.

Shriram Overseas Finance

rose 10 per cent to Rs 68.3 while

Shriram Transport Finance

gained 3.6 per cent to Rs 121.5.

MICO

gained 2.6 per cent to Rs 3,266. The company's fourth quarter profits rose 3 per cent and revenues surged by 39 per cent.

Temasek Holdings

of Singapore bought a 9.9 per cent stake in

Tata Teleservices

. The stock declined by 2.3 per cent to Rs 24.7.

UTI Bank, Bharat Electronics, LG Balakrishnan & Bros, The Ruby Mills

and

Greaves Cotton

were some of the stocks in the Nifty constituency that closed with significant gains.

Tata Steel, VSNL, Lupin

and

Hindustan Motors

reflected general market sentiments and ended as conspicuous losers.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 9, 2006)
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