BSE Sensex falls 16 pts, Infosys share price up ahead of earnings

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Trading in a narrow 125-point zone, BSE Sensex index rose to a high of 20,778.13 and a low of 20,652.69 during the session. (Reuters) Trading in a narrow 125-point zone, BSE Sensex index rose to a high of 20,778.13 and a low of 20,652.69 during the session. (Reuters)
SummaryBSE Sensex records sixth decline in seven sessions, bust Infosys share price buoyant.

Ltd fell 2.7 percent, while Housing Development Finance Corporation ended 0.3 percent lower.

Caution ahead of key inflation data next week also hit bank stocks. Axis Bank Ltd fell 2.2 percent while State Bank of India lost 1.1 percent.

Among other rate-sensitive stocks, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd fell 1.6 percent while Maruti Suzuki India Ltd lost 1.4 percent.

Jubilant Foodworks Ltd, which operates the Domino's Pizza franchise in India, fell 3 percent after the central bank on Wednesday said aggregate net purchases of equity shares in the company by foreign institutional investors had reached the prescribed limit.

Biocon Ltd fell 2.4 percent after brokerage CLSA downgraded the stock to 'sell' from 'outperform' citing a run-up in valuations.

HCL Infosystems Ltd fell 4 percent, Aban Offshore Ltd ended 3.6 percent lower and Opto Circuits (India) Ltd lost 2.2 percent after index compiler FTSE removed them from its Global Equity Index series.

However, software stocks rose a day ahead of bellwether Infosys' October-December earnings.

Infosys gained 0.7 percent, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd rose 0.4 percent while HCL Technologies Ltd surged 3.2 percent.

Gold-based lenders also surged to their maximum daily limit after India's central bank on Wednesday relaxed gold lending rules.

Muthoot Finance Ltd surged 20 percent, while Manappuram Finance Ltd jumped 19.8 percent.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Dollar index buoyant near seven-week high; ECB eyed

* Oil up towards $108 on as caution on Libya prevails

* Asian shares ease, dollar firms; US jobs in focus

* Foreign institutional investor flows

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