Markets this week: M&M, GAIL top Sensex losers
By Sankalp Phartiyal and Ankush Arora
India’s benchmark indexes ended lower this week after scaling fresh peaks on Tuesday. The Sensex ended the week down 0.26 percent in its second consecutive week of falls. Indian markets were shut on Monday for a public holiday.
While strong buying by foreign investors bolstered blue chips, profit-booking and worries U.S. interest rates would rise sooner than expected kept shares under pressure.
On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs upgraded Indian shares to “overweight” from “marketweight” and raised its target on the Nifty to 7,600, citing lower external vulnerabilities, and chances of gains ahead of general elections.
Here are the top five Sensex losers and gainers this week:
M&M: Shares in India’s biggest utility vehicle maker ended the week with losses of 5.4 percent.
“We believe M&M’s market share loss in the UV/SUV segment is likely to stem while tractor volume growth will remain sedate (at 8-10% yoy in FY2015),” Kotak Institutional Equities wrote in a March 18 research note. The brokerage has a ‘neutral’ rating on the stock with a target price of 1,200 rupees.
GAIL: Shares in the state-run gas utility ended down nearly 5 percent this week. The stock is, however, up 3.6 percent for the year.
Of the 43 analysts covering the stock, 23 have a ‘buy’ or equivalent rating while 8 have a ‘sell’ or equivalent rating, according to Thomson Reuters data.
ONGC: Shares in the state-run oil explorer also fell nearly 5 percent this week, as compared to a gain of 2.5 percent in the BSE oil and gas index during the same period.
The upstream regulator has backed ONGC’s demand for appointment of an international expert to assess if Reliance Industries was drawing out any of its gas in the KG basin, the Economic Times reported on Monday.
Citing sources, the report said the energy company has been asked to share data on the gas reservoir on its side of the block as well as production flows with ONGC.
In 2014, ONGC stock has gained more than 6 percent.
L&T: Shares in the company fell 3.1 percent, making L&T the fourth biggest Sensex loser this week. India’s top engineering and construction firm has, however, performed well so far this year with its stock gaining 13.7 percent.
“We expect L&T will emerge stronger from recent Indian economic deceleration and outperform peers when economy accelerates,” Citi Research said in a March 6 research note. The brokerage has a ‘buy’ rating on the stock with a target price of 1,305 rupees.
HERO MOTOCORP: Shares in India’s largest two-wheeler maker closed 2.8 percent lower, snapping a rally for two consecutive weeks. The BSE auto index fell 0.6 percent during the week ending on March 21.
“Hero Motocorp with increasing market share in the scooters segment, strongest presence in rural markets and robust line-up of new models will be able to retain its market share in spite of fierce competition,” writes IIFL in a research report on March 15.
Of the 51 analysts covering the stock, 25 have a buy or equivalent rating, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Maruti Suzuki shares surged 7.5 percent; followed by Hindalco which rose 6.8 percent. Shares in Tata Steel gained 6.1 percent, while India’s No. 3 IT services provider Wipro climbed 3.8 percent. Hindustan Unilever, India’s largest consumer goods maker, ended up 3.4 percent.
(Editing by Tony Tharakan; Follow Tony on Twitter @TonyTharakan, Sankalp @sankalp_sp and Ankush @Ankush_patrakar | Disclaimer: This article is website-exclusive and cannot be reproduced in any form without permission)