Sensex Trades Light Ahead of Busy Results Week

Sensex Trades Light Ahead of Busy Results Week
Indian stock markets were little changed in thin trade on Friday as investors took a pause before a busy week of corporate results, while stock indexes headed for their worst weekly fall in six due to profit-taking in recent outperformers.

Daily stock trading volume was weak with bond and currency markets closed for a public holiday. The NSE Nifty saw only about a quarter of the 30-day average volume in the first four hours of trading.

The next key trigger will be January-March results starting next week, said traders, adding that margins were expected to be muted on sluggish global and domestic demand.

Next week, cement makers ACC Ltd and Ambuja Cements Ltd, and software services provider Infosys are due to report their quarterly results.

“Today being the last day of the week and with currency and bond markets shut, not much trading activity is expected,” said K K Mital, head-portfolio management services at Globe Capital Market.

“Earnings report next week would determine the trend but we don’t expect any major correction from here on.”

The broader Nifty was up 0.11 percent at 7,554.23 as of 0808 GMT, but was headed for a 2 percent fall on the week.

The benchmark BSE Sensex was 0.04 percent higher at 24,696.71, but was set for a weekly drop of 2.3 percent.

Recent underperformers led the gains, with ICICI Bank and State Bank of India up 0.7 percent each.

The S&P BSE Bankex was up 0.5 percent after the newly-formed bank bureau board met for the first time on Friday and discussed issues including capital infusion, merger of weak banks with strong ones.

Reliance Communications fell 1 percent after Moody’s downgraded the telecoms company’s ratings outlook to “negative” from “stable”, citing persistent delays in non-core assets sales.

Private sector crude oil producer Cairn India declined 1 percent after London-listed Cairn Energy, which holds about 10 per cent stake in the Indian company, called an annual general meeting to dispose of or reduce its stake.