Indian markets quiet ahead of monetary policy

January 23rd, 2012 - 1:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Sensex Mumbai, Jan 23 (IANS) Indian equities markets were sluggish a little before noon Monday, as traders were cautious ahead of the third quarterly review of the monetary policy by the Reserve Bank of India.

The policy review will be Tuesday but the majority view is that the central bank may keep a status quo on key interest rates.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 16,667.02 points, ruled at 16,715.71 points, 23.3 points or 0.14 percent down from its previous close at 16,739.01 points.

The 50-scrip S&P; CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also was trading higher at 5,040.1 points — down 0.17 percent or 8.5 points from its previous close.

The markets had rallied in the previous week with the Sensex gaining 3.62 percent and the Nifty moving up close to 4 percent. In the three weeks of January, both indices have gained over 8 percent.

Broader markets were also ruling lacklustre with the BSE 500 index ruling 0.03 percent higher from its previous close. The BSE midcap index was ruling 0.24 percent up and the BSE smallcap index gained 0.32 percent.

Prominent gainers on the 30-scrip Sensex included Cipla, ICICI Bank, Tata Power and ITC. Among losers were Sterlite, RIL, Hero MotoCorp and Coal India.

The market breadth was positive with 1,362 stocks advancing, 1,024 on the decline and 111 remaining unchanged.

Asian markets were mixed. Major bourses like China and Hong Kong were closed on account of holidays.

Among the ones that were open, the Japanese Nikkei was sluggish at 8,771.56 points, up 0.06 percent from its previous close.

The South Korean Kospi was however, up 1.82 percent at 1,949.89 points.

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