Sensex makes moderate gains (Lead)

February 25th, 2011 - 6:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Sensex Mumbai, Feb 25 (IANS) In volatile trading ahead of the annual budget, a benchmark index for Indian equities markets Friday managed to pare intra-day losses even as the government presented two crucial documents — the Economic Survey and the rail budget.Traders took hope from the Economic Survey, which said the economy would grow by 8.6 percent in the current fiscal and by 9 percent in the next. But fears of rising inflation as cautioned in the annual review and an accompanying interest rate hike led to heavy selling in the afternoon.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) opened at 17,775.08 points and closed at 17,700.91, up 68.5 points or 0.39 percent from its previous close at 17,632.41 points.

It soared to an intra-day high of 17,812.44 and fell to an intra-day low of 17,469.97 points.

The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange shut shop 0.78 percent higher at 5,303.55 points.

Most stocks associated with the railway sector were battered as the rail budget turned out to be more of a populist measure and companies operating in the sector failed to get any major boost.

Texmaco closed 7.98 percent down while Kalindi Rail Nirman closed at a whopping 13.7 percent lower. Titagarh Wagons fell 13.06 percent. State-run Container Corp of India moved up 3.15 percent.

Broader markets also ended in the red. The BSE midcap index was closed 0.22 percent down while the BSE small cap index ended 0.31 percent lower.

IT, capital goods and telecom stocks were in the red, while FMCG, banking and auto stocks ended among gaining stocks.

The market breadth was negative, with 1,273 stocks advancing compared to 1,589 scrips on the decline. A total of 100 stocks remained unchanged.

Among the gainers on the 30-scrip Sensex were: Tata Motors, up 4.43 percent at Rs.1,105.10; ICICI Bank, up 3.55 percent at Rs.987.30; ITC, up 3 percent at Rs.156.15 and SBI, up 2.09 percent at Rs.2,583.90.

Losers on the benchmark index included RCom, down 5.4 percent at Rs.87.55; Reliance Infra, down 4.58 percent at Rs.638; M&M, down 3.38 percent at Rs.595.10 and Hindalco, down 2.48 percent at Rs.200.20.

Asian markets closed in the green with some gaining more than others even though traders remained circumspect on the prolonging crisis in the Middle East which has sent crude prices soaring globally.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 1.82 percent up at 23,012.37 points while the Japanese Nikkei was up 0.71 percent to end at 10,526.76 points.

A benchmark index of the Chinese bourse, the Shanghai Composite index, closed flat.

The popular uprising against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had an impact on crude output in India.

Protests in some Arab countries like Bahrain and fears they might spread to other major oil producers had earlier resulted in oil prices shooting up to over two year highs in some markets like the US, which is among the largest energy consumers.

European stock also ruled higher as traders heaved a sigh of relief after Saudi Arabia assured the world that crude output would not be hit because of political turmoil in Libya.

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