Ahead of budget, Sensex ends flat

Thursday, February 25, 2010
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Mumbai: A benchmark index for Indian equities ended flat Thursday amid signs of nervousness in the investor community a day before the annual budget is to be presented in parliament. The index, which traded in a very narrow range throughout the day, ignored positive industry growth numbers given out in the Economic Survey tabled in the Lok Sabha Thursday. Key sectors of the economy grew 9.4 percent in January against 6 percent the previous month, according to the data released by the commerce and industry ministry.Despite this news, the 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 16,264.1 points, closed at 16,254.2 points, down 1.77 points or 0.01 percent from its previous close. The stock chart for 52-weeks is given on left. At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader 50-share S&P CNX Nifty ended at 4,859.75 points, against the previous close at 4,858.6 points, a gain of 0.02 percent or 1.15 points. Broader market indices closed in the red with the BSE midcap index ending 0.4 percent lower and the BSE small cap index 0.18 percent down. Capital goods, IT, telecom and banking stocks saw buying interest, but FMCG, energy, metal and PSU scrips came under selling pressure. The market breadth was negative, with 1,278 stocks advancing, compared to 1,521 on the decline and 100 remaining unchanged. Among the gainers on the 30-scrip Sensex were L&T, up 2.47 percent at Rs.1,536.85; Maruti Suzuki, up 2.37 percent at Rs.1,401.05; Hero Honda, up 1.44 percent at Rs.1,696.50; and Infosys, up 1.37 percent at Rs.2,612.45. Top losers included Hindustan Unilever, down 2.71 percent at Rs.235.35; Tata Motors, down 2.69 percent at Rs.668.70; Jaiprakash Associates, down 2.27 percent at Rs.129.40; NTPC, down 2.03 percent at Rs.200.20. According to data available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), foreign institutional investors were net buyers Thursday, having bought scrips worth $133.15 million. Most other Asian markets were also in the red with the benchmark Japanese index, Nikkei, losing 0.95 percent to close at 10,101.96 points, while the South Korean Kospi ended 1.57 percent lower at 1,587.51 points. Hong Kong's Hang Seng too closed lower at 20,399.57 points, down 0.33 percent. However, the Chinese Shanghai composite index shut shop in the green, 1.27 percent up at 3,060.62 points. European markets were in a slump at closing bell here. The FTSE 100, the benchmark index of the London Stock Exchange, was ruling 0.05 percent higher at 5,345.49 points, while its German peer DAX was trading at 5,619.46 points, up 0.07 percent. The French CAC 40 index was ruling lower at 3,708.56 points, down 0.19 percent.
Source: IANS
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