Markets welcome budget, Sensex ends 175 points up

Friday, February 26, 2010
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Mumbai: Reacting positively to the budget, a barometer for India's equities markets shut shop 175 points higher Friday, though it failed to hold on to its intra-day highs. The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 16,255.33 points closed at 16,429.55 points, 175 points or 1.08 percent higher than its previous close at 16,254.2 points. At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader 50-share S&P CNX Nifty was ruling at 4,922.3 points, against the previous close at 4,859.75 points, a gain of 1.29 percent or 62.55 points. The stock chart for 52-weeks is given on left. Broader markets too saw a buying spree with the BSE midcap index ending 1.47 percent higher and the BSE small cap index closing 1.08 percent up. Most analysts agreed that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had done a fine balancing act between maintaining a growth trajectory and adhering to fiscal consolidation targets. "The markets could not have asked for more. We were expecting a withdrawal of stimulus by raising service tax and excise duty but the finance minister has raised only the latter," Dinesh Thakkar, chairman and managing director of brokerage firm Angel Broking, told IANS. "As far as sectors go, banking will benefit from the budget and should see a rise in bottom lines as demand from consumers grow. Infrastructure is another sector that has got a boost," said Thakkar. Auto, metals and banking and healthcare stocks saw greater buying interest, but FMCG, and IT scrips saw some selling. The market breadth was positive, with 1,848 stocks advancing, compared to 942 on the decline and 84 remaining unchanged. The markets which were caught up in a sideways movement through the week and most of the previous two months, broke free as the budget started. "Though it is not possible to keep everyone happy, the finance minister has done a commendable job. This was evident from the way markets reacted to the announcements," said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, the equity head for brokerage firm SMC Capitals. The Sensex in the afternoon had soared more than 415 points to 16,669.25 points. "However, I feel the budget might not have a lasting effect on the trends. Tuesday is a fresh day and markets might start with a clean slate," said Thunuguntla. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs), however turned sellers Friday. According to data available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), FIIs sold scrips worth $52.57 million.
Source: IANS
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