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Indian shares close up 0.14 per cent

business Updated: Apr 24, 2008 17:42 IST
AFP
Indian shares close up 0.14 per cent

Indian share prices closed 0.14 per cent higher on Thursday in range-bound trade ahead of monetary policy announcements from India's central bank, dealers said.

They said investors unwound positions at the expiry of the monthly futures market contract on Thursday.

The benchmark Mumbai Sensex rose 23.04 points to 16,721.08.

"The markets appear directionless, with investor appetite listless ahead of next week's monetary policy," said a dealer with brokerage ULJK Securities.

Last Thursday, the central bank hiked by half a percentage point the amount of cash commercial banks must keep in reserve in a bid to curb inflation.

India's inflation slowed by nearly three-tenths of a percentage point to 7.14 per cent for the week ended April 5, still well above the central bank's top-end comfort level of five per cent.

Losers led gainers 1,465 to 1,266 on volume of 53.52 billion rupees (1.33 billion dollars).

The rupee fell marginally against the dollar at 40 from 39.9 while it rose against the euro at 63.44 from 63.8.

India's second largest software exporter Infosys rose 47.15 rupees or 2.86 percent to 1,693.05, as sentiment improved with the rising dollar.

Indian software companies, whose main clients are based in the United States, bill most of their clients in dollars.

Engineering multinational Larsen and Toubro rose 39.5 rupees or 1.36 per cent to 2,491.3.

The world's sixth largest steel maker Tata Steel fell 21.1 rupees or 2.65 per cent to 776.5, after the government this week signalled stronger action to lower steel prices in a bid to counter inflation.