Sensex sinks into the red
The market lost ground after a steady opening as selling pressure gained in select Old as well as New Economy stocks. While operators kept unwinding long positions, profit booking was seen in select pharmaceutical stocks after recent gains.
The BSE Sensex, as a result, shed its earlier gains to sink into the red as trading progressed. At 10:38 IST, the Sensex was down 3.28 points to 3,400.49.
The NSE S & P Nifty Index moved up 0.60 points to 1,094.60.
ICICI (down 3.27% to Rs 71) lost ground on continued selling pressure.
Profit booking was seen in pharmaceutical pivotals like Ranbaxy Laboratories (down 2.52% to Rs 487) and Glaxo (down 0.54% to Rs 325.30).
Dr Reddy's Laboratories (down 1.13% to Rs 1,560) was subdued on selling pressure after the Reserve Bank of India said on Thursday that foreign fund ownership in the company was near the approved limit. The RBI has prohibited foreign funds from fresh buying in Dr Reddy's shares without its approval.
Selling was seen in Old Economy stocks like Tata Steel (down 2.51% to Rs 114.50), MTNL (down 1.44% to Rs 123.20), RPL (down 1.05% to Rs 46.90) and State Bank of India (down 0.91% to Rs 218.25).
Cement pivotals like Gujarat Ambuja Cements (down 2.19% to Rs 181), Grasim (down 1.65% to Rs 300.50), ACC (down 0.92% to Rs 134) and L & T (down 0.70% to Rs 218.70) were also in the red.
Meanwhile, buying by funds was seen in heavyweights like Hindustan Lever (up 2.03% to Rs 201), Infosys Technologies (up 1.25% to Rs 3,651) and ITC (up 0.21% to Rs 773.90).
Non-Sensex tech stocks displayed mixed trends.
Buying interest was seen on counters like Sierra Optima, DSQ Software, VisualSoft, Subex Systems, Kale Consultants, Soffia Software, Aztec Software, HCL Technologies, Rolta India, SSI, Polaris Software, Digital Equipment, Silverline Technologies, Trigyn Technologies, Hughes Software, Wipro, Aftek Infosys and R S Software.
On the other hand, selling was seen on counters like Mascot Systems, Aptech, Infotech Enterprises, PSI Data Systems and Pentasoft Technologies.
Among telecom stocks, while Global Tele-Systems (up 1.32% to Rs 153.55) shed some of its earlier gains, HFCL (down 1.02% to Rs 82.60) sank into the red on selling pressure.
Selling was seen in telecom-related stocks like Mobile Telecom, Sterlite Optical, VSNL and Goldstone Technologies.
Shyam Telecom was unchanged at Rs 60.40 after the company posted impressive FY 2001 results on Thursday. For the year ended 31 March 2001, the company posted a net profit of Rs 16.37 crore (Rs 4.45 crore for 18 months) on sales of Rs 215.34 crore (Rs 111.72 crore).
Among media stocks, Crest Communications (up 10.48% to Rs 63.25) crossed the 8% upper limit of the circuit breaker on impressive FY 2001 results.
Selective buying was seen in media stocks like Creative Eye, Adlabs Films, Pentamedia Graphics, Tips Industries, Jain Studios and Balaji Telefilms.
Counters like Mukta Arts, Padmalaya Telefilms, Pritish Nandy Communications, Mid-Day Multimedia and Sri Adhikari Brothers were subdued.