Boosted by earnings, TCS ledsoftware service companies higher, helping to lift the key S&P BSE Sensex today by over 21 points to 20,149.85 and overcome weak global cues and sustained selling by foreign funds.
The 30-share index opened higher and moved in a 145-point range before
ending at 20,149.85, a gain of 21.44 points or 0.11%, climbing for the third straight day. The Sensex added 191.38 points this week.
The broader Nifty index on the National Stock Exchange erased all its gains and ended lower by 8.85 points, or 0.15%, at 6,029.20. The SX40 index on the MCX-SX added 2.54 points.
"The benchmark indices opened with a positive gap, extending Wednesday's momentum. However, it was unable to sustain itself at higher levels amid profit-booking ahead of the weekend," said Amar Ambani, head of research at India Infoline.
Tata Consultancy Services was the top gainer on the Sensex, climbing 4.92% after it posted a better-than-expected 15.5% increase in consolidated net profit for the first quarter.
As a result, Infosys and Wipro also moved up. The BSE-IT index, which rose 2.81%, was the top gainer among sectoral indices.
The gainers included auto stocks led by Tata Motors and Reliance Industries, ahead of its results. The rise in the Sensex was capped by declines in ICICI Bank, HDFC, Sun Pharma, BHEL, L&T, HDFC Bank, Sterlite Ind, NTPC, Jindal Steel and Tata Steel.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told industrialists in New Delhi the government will take all steps to boost investment.
Hinting at the RBI reversing its recent tough monetary measures to curb rupee volatility, Singh promised to unleash more FDI reforms and push infrastructure initiatives to boost growth.
Most Asian markets declined amid concern that growth in China and Japan's economic reforms may be losing stream. Key indices in China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan dropped by 0.15% to 1.62%, while Hong Kong Hang Seng index firmed up by 0.08%.
European stock markets slipped from an almost seven-week high in early trade as technology firms dropped in the wake of disappointing earnings from Google Inc and Microsoft Corp.
Key indices in France, Germany and UK eased by 0.40% to 0.46%. In the domestic market, 16 scrips in the Sensex gained, including Bajaj Auto (3.68 pc), Hero MotoCorp (2.62 pc), Tata Motors (2.52 pc), GAIL India (2.51 pc), Bharti Airtel (2.33 pc), Coal India (1.79 pc), Infosys (1.65 pc) and Wipro (1.49 pc). However, BHEL dropped 8.02 pc, followed by Sun Pharma 3.35 pc, Sterlite Ind 2.93 pc, Jindal Steel 2.77 pc, ICICI Bank 2.64 pc, HDFC 2.35 pc, NTPC 1.78 pc, Tata Steel 1.47 pc and Larsen 1.08 pc.
Among sectoral indices, S&P BSE-Teck firmed up by 2.20 pc, S&P BSE-Auto 1.66 pc and S&P BSE-Oil and Gas 0.67 pc. The S&P BSE-CG dropped by 1.99 pc, followed by S&P BSE- Power 1.87 pc, S&P BSE-Bankex 1.84 pc, S&P BSE-Realty 1.83 pc, S&P BSE-CD 1.19 pc and S&P BSE-HC 1.00 pc. The market breadth turned negative, with 1,310 stocks declining, 1,033 scrips advancing and 144 scrips ruling steady. Total turnover moved up to Rs. 1,929.18 crore from Rs. 1,905.35 crore yesterday. Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth a net Rs. 178.30 crore yesterday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.
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