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Markets end lower; cement stocks drop

 Markets end lower; cement stocks drop
Markets ended the day lower for the second day in succession on profit booking in heavyweights, despite strong closing across Asian markets.

The Nifty ended the day lower by 2.85 points, while the Sensex shed 3 points. Among the losers in trade today were cement stocks including Ultratech Cement, Ambuja Cement and ACC.

Oil marketing companies which had rallied in the last few days gave up gains on profit booking. Shares of BPCL, HPCL and Indian Oil all dropped in trade after closing higher in the past few sessions on hopes of a hike in diesel prices.

Engineers India dropped almost 4 per cent, after the government approved a stake sale in the company. State Bank of India gained after the Union Cabinet cleared a proposal for recapitalisation of public sector banks.

Telecom players like Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular fell after the government levied a one time spectrum fee on telecom players.

IT stocks too dragged the indices lower today with TCS and Infosys ending the day lower. The latter is expected to deliver its results on Friday.

The other major heavyweights, that fell from the Nifty basket included Reliance Industries and Larsen and Toubro.

Nifty gainers today included Jindal Steel, HeroMotorcorp, HDFC Bank, Tata Motors and Coal India. Realty stocks which have been rallying over the past few weeks came in for some profit booking with HDIL, Anant Raj, Indiabulls and Oberoi Realty all falling.

Midcap stocks also ended the day with losses. Prominent losers from the NSE Midcap 50 were Crompton Greaves, India Cement, GMR Infra, Welspun Corp, Jubilant Foods and Hindustan Zinc.

Meanwhile, markets in Asia ended the day in the green, while markets in Europe were trading mixed. The UK's FTSE and the German DAX were higher, while the French CAC was trading lower.

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