Thursday, January 22, 2009

Closing: Sensex lags its Asian peers

Mirroring its global counterparts, the Indian indices began the day on a positive note. However, higher inflation numbers (5.6% from earlier 5.4%) brought jitters to the markets during the noon session. After dropping in the red during the post noon session, the markets bounced back strongly during the final hour of trade. The Sensex closed higher by around 34 points, while the Nifty closed higher by 3 points. However, stocks from the mid-cap and small-cap indices ended in the red. Stocks from the banking and Teck space managed to garner the investors’ interests, while stocks from the realty and metals sectors bore the brunt of profit booking. Rupee closed at 48.94 against the US dollar. The Asian markets ended on a positive note today. The European indices are currently trading firm.

Q3 Result Update: Reliance Q3 net falls 8.8%, first drop in 3 years

India's largest listed company, Reliance Industries Ltd reported quarterly profit fell 8.8 percent, its first drop in three years, but beat forecasts as refining margins did not fall as much as expected.

The petrochemical and refining giant reported a net profit of Rs 3,501 crore ($713 million) for its fiscal third quarter ended December 31, compared with Rs 3,837 crore excluding one-off gains reported a year earlier.

The company is set to get an earnings boost when it starts pumping 30-40 million cubic metres of natural gas a day from its deep-sea fields off India's east coast in the second half of February.

Ahead of the results, shares in Reliance, which has a market value of around $36 billion, closed up 1.21 percent at Rs 1,132.95 in a Mumbai market that rose 0.4 percent.

The stock has fell 37 percent in the December quarter, more than a 25 percent drop in the benchmark index and 33 percent loss in the sector index.


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