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Weekly Wrap: Sensex, Nifty end marginally down on profit taking

© Provided by The Rahnuma Daily

Despite some upbeat economic data, the Indian stock market saw some weak spells during the week ended 3 March 2017, as mostly weak global markets and fears about U.S. interest rate hikes prompted investors to take profits. Recording losses on four out of five sessions, the BSE benchmark Sensex ended down 60.52 points or 0.21% at 28,832.45, after rising past 29,100 during the week. The Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange ended down 41.95 points or 0.47% at 8897.55.Midcap and smallcap segments saw stock specific activity. The BSE Midcap index declined nearly 1% and the Smallcap index dged down by about 0.24%.Telecom stock Bharti Airtel ended nearly 3% down. Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications also saw some weak spells during the week, after Reliance Industries announced highly attractive tariff plans for Reliance Jio subscribers. Reliance Industries ended the week with a gain of nearly 6.5%. An announcement by the promoter group about rejig in shareholding in Reliance Industries too contributed to the stock’s surge.Power stock NTPC declined by about 5.7%. Axis Bank ended 2.8% down. Power Grid Corporation and Coal India also declined sharply. HDFC shed about 1%. Coal India ended more than 2% down after the company said its production fell slightly short of its target. Larsen & Toubro ended down 1.1% despite the company reporting some new order wins. Hindustan Unilever and Tata Steel gained more than 2%. Among IT majors Infosys gained 2.2%. Wipro gained nearly 1.5% and Tata Consultancy Services ended modestly higher.  TCS annnounced on Wednesday that the promoter and promoter group of the company have communicated their intention to participate in the proposed buyback.In the automobile space, Maruti Suzuki ended 2.3% down, despite the company reporting a 10.9% jump in total sales in February 2017, over the same month last year. While domestic sales were up 11.7%, exports rose 2.2% in the month.Hero Motocorp gained nearly 3% despite reporting a 4.75% decline in sales of two-wheelers in the month of February. Bajaj Auto edged up marginally. Bajaj Auto reported a small 0.37% increase in total vehicles sales in February.Shares of Tata Motors declined marginally after the company reported a modest 2% increase in total sales. Mahindra & Mahindra gained nearly 1%. Total tractor sales of Mahindra & Mahindra rose 11% in February. While domestic sales were up 9%, exports surged 35%. However, sales of M&M’s domestic sales and exports of autos declined in the month.Among healthcare stocks, Lupin ended 1.3% up, with announcement about the launch of generic Prstix Extended Release Tablets aiding sentiment at the counter.In economic news, a survey report from IHS Markit released today showed India’s private sector activity to have expanded in February, after three months of decline. The Nikkei Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index came in with a reading of 50.7 for February, up from 49.4 in January. The Services Business Activity Index climbed to 50.3 in February from 48.7 in the preceding month.Earlier in the week, a report from IHS Markit showed India’s manufacturing activity to have expanded for the second straight month in February, with the Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rising to 50.7 in February, up from 50.4 a month earlier. Improved demand from both domestic and external markets lifted the index. However, manufacturing employment declined in February, albeit marginally.Meanwhile, India’s GDP surprisingly grew 7% in the December 2016 quarter, much higher than the widely forecast 6% growth. Still, it was slower than the 7.4% growth the country had seen in the September 2016 quarter. The demonetization impact was expected to slow down growth last quarter.Another data released by the government last week showed eight core infrastructure sector output, comprising nearly 38% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production to have risen 3.4% in January 2017 over January 2016. Its cumulative growth was 4.8% in April-January 2016-2017.

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