Markets shed early gains, end on flat note (Roundup)

February 25th, 2009 - 6:23 pm ICT by IANS  

SensexMumbai, Feb 25 (IANS) Indian equities markets drew to a tame close Wednesday in spite of investors buying stocks to cover their positions before futures and options contract expire Thursday.
The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange, which opened at 8,913.44 points, closed at 8,902.56 points, up 80.5 points or only 0.91 percent.

The S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) ended at 2,762.5 points, 1.05 percent up from its last close at 2,733.9 points.

Both Sensex and the Nifty rose early in the day on positive global cues but were unable to hold on to their respective highs.

The BSE midcap index was 0.53 percent higher, while the BSE smallcap index was up 0.6 percent.

Among the 13 sectoral indices on the BSE, the index for auto stocks gained the most after commercial vehicle manufacturers said they would look at passing on the benefits of excise duty cuts to customers. The government announced the cuts Tuesday.

Top gainers on the Sensex were Mahindra and Mahindra (up 7.9 percent at Rs.318.40), Tata Motors (up 5.87 percent at Rs.139.85), Reliance Infra (up 3.6 percent at Rs.506.75) and Maruti Suzuki (up 3.2 percent at Rs.662.75).

Among the losers were Ranbaxy Laboratories (down 3.54 percent at Rs.207.25), HDFC (down 2.68 percent at Rs.1,254.40), L&T (down 2.08 percent at Rs.612.45) and DLF (down 1.75 percent at Rs.154.60).

The overall market sentiment was mixed with 1,228 stocks advancing, 1,188 scrips declining and 107 remaining unchanged.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers, pulling out $97.10 million from the markets.

Asian markets also fared well, with a key Japanese index, the Nikkei of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, gaining 1.13 percent to close at 7,350.34 points.

The Hang Seng, a key index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, also gained 0.73 percent from its last close.

The FTSE index in Britain was ruling 0.89 percent lower than its previous close.

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