Markets: Eerie calm

Markets: Eerie calm

it is not clear when market sentiment can change; as in the past, it can be quite sudden.
At a turn and yet not

At a turn and yet not

RBI could be tempted to cut policy rate to support growth at its bi-monthly review.

BSE Sensex ends record-setting week with slight gains, Axis Bank shares rise 2.6 pct

Mar 21 2014, 17:36 IST
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Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd fell 2.4 percent, but Tata Motors Ltd rose 2.5 percent. Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd fell 2.4 percent, but Tata Motors Ltd rose 2.5 percent.
SummaryBSE Sensex gains, but continues to stay away from record highs hit earlier in week.

The benchmark BSE Sensex today frittered away most of its early gains on profit-taking in bluechips, including Reliance Industries and ONGC, to end with a mere 14-point rise.

After losing 93 points in the previous session, the BSE index Sensex shot up by 130 points at the outset before reducing gains to end 13.66 points higher, or 0.06 per cent, at 21,753.75. From last Friday, the index lost 56.05 points even though it hit lifetime high of 22,040.72 on March 18.

Brokers said the market remained volatile as cautious investors and foreign fund managers were seen adjusting their portfolios before the ending of current fiscal year.

Markets Top Gainers, Markets Top Losers

"After the initial uptick, the benchmark indices were remained lacklustre for the ninth successive trade. However, considerable buying in metal and realty space alongside with rise in cash counters kept market breadth on advancing side," said Jayant Manglik, President-retail distribution, Religare Securities.

In 30-share Sensex, 19 stocks gained while 11 settled with losses. Reliance Industries dropped 2.20 per cent on reports of drop in production at its eastern offshore project.

ONGC fell over 2.6 per cent, Sun Pharma by 1.7 per cent and Bharti Airtel by about one per cent.

The 50-share NSE index Nifty rose 10.10 points, or 0.16 per cent, to end at 6,493.20, after touching high of 6,522.90.

Axis Bank, which tumbled three per cent intra-day, ended 2.69 per cent higher after the government sold 9 per cent stake through block deal trades.

Metal stocks rose on value buying while State Bank of India was up 1.47 per cent on hopes of gaining weight in FTSE index series, market participants said.

The domestic market sentiment was positive on a firming trend in the Asian region and higher opening in Europe as global investors steadied after Federal Reserve's signal on hiking interest rates.

Sectorally, the BSE Metal sector index gained the most by rising 1.93 per cent, followed by Realty index (1.86 per cent), Consumer Durable index (0.70 per cent) and Power index (0.67 per cent).

Indian shares end higher; metal, tech stocks gain

(Reuters) Indian shares edged higher on Friday, but continued to stay away from their record highs hit early in the week, as investors booked profits in some recent outperformers such as ONGC while buying into relative underperformers such as Tata Motors.

Both the NSE and the BSE indexes hit record highs on Tuesday, bolstered by continued buying from foreign investors, with net purchases of $117.87 million on Thursday, their 23rd buying session in the previous 24.

Still, some of the momentum has waned. The NSE index ended the week down 0.2 percent, its second consecutive week of falls, and 1.2 percent away from its record high of 6,574.94 hit on Tuesday.

Profit-taking after a strong rally, and some global factors, including a bout of selling tied to concerns that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates earlier than expected, have pressured shares.

"We are cautiously optimistic in the near term. The undercurrent is positive, but profit-taking is expected in select sectors and stocks. We will continue to see sectoral rotations-like that we saw in IT," said Deven Choksey, managing director at KR Choksey Securities.

"We may see fresh positions building up after the monthly derivatives contract expiry, in the coming week."

The benchmark BSE index closed 0.06 percent higher at 21,753.75. It lost 0.26 percent this week.

The broader NSE index closed 0.16 percent higher at 6,493.2.

Relative underperformers in the recent rally continued to gain, with Tata Motors Ltd up 2.5 percent after falling 8.9 percent this month as of Thursday's close.

Meanwhile, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd rose 0.9 percent, after being hit earlier this week after saying revenue growth could slow this quarter from the previous quarter. Shares had fallen 7.4 percent this month as of Thursday.

Axis Bank Ltd rose 2.7 percent on speculation that its weightage in FTSE indexes is due to increase when the index provider rejigs the composition of its benchmarks after the close of markets on Friday.

The speculation on FTSE offset pressure earlier in the day, when Axis Bank shares fell as much as 2.6 percent, as the government raised more than $900 million by selling a 9 percent stake in the bank.

However, shares speculated to be losing some weightage in FTSE indexes fell. Reliance Industries Ltd fell 2.2 percent.

Oil and Natural Gas Corp fell 2.98 percent, with some profit-taking hitting the stock after gaining 8.4 percent this month as of Thursday's close.

Blue chips broadly recovered from Thursday's fall, with State Bank of India up 1.44 percent after losing 1.81 percent in the previous session.

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