In volatile trading, the BSE benchmark Sensex managed to end in the positive terrain, gaining 29 points to finish at 18,037.19 on fresh buying in realty, FMCG and auto counters, as government pegged a higher economic growth rate for the current fiscal compared to 2009-10. Besides, cues from the European markets were firm.
However, shares of Consumer Durables, Capital Goods and Healthcare declined on persistent selling pressure. The government today announced economic growth for the current financial year at 8.6 per cent, as against 8 per cent a year ago, boosting the sentiment to some extent. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said the 8.6 per cent economic growth estimated for the current fiscal was satisfactory in the wake of rising inflation and trade imbalances. The BSE benchmark resumed higher at 18,135.02 and hovered in a range of 18,180.94 and 17,977.01 before concluding the day at 18,037.19, showing a gain of 29.04 points or 0.16 per cent from its last weekend's level. However, the NSE 50-share nifty ended flat at 5,396.00 as against the last weekend's level of 5,395.75. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net of Rs 144.04 crore and domestic institutional investors bought shares worth Rs 237.45 crore last Friday, as per the provisional data from the exchanges.
Asian markets ended mixed. Key benchmark indices in South Korea and Japan rose 0.47 per cent and 0.46 per cent. However, indices in Hong Kong and Singapore fell by about 0.59 per cent and 1.49 per cent.
Chinese markets remained shut for the Lunar New Year Holidays. European markets were trading higher in their early trade as key benchmark indices in UK, Germnay and France were up by 0.80 per cent to 1.24 per cent.
From the Sensex pack major gainers were Hero Honda (2.75 pc), ITC (2.62 pc), DLF (2.32 pc), Jaiprakash Asso (2.27 pc), NTPC (1.47 pc), Infosystech (1.40 pc), RIL (1.07 pc) and HDFC Bank (0.98 pc). However, Cipla fell by 2.95 pc, followed by HDFC 2.07 pc, Wipro 2.05 pc, Hindalco 1.96 pc, Larsen 1.89 pc, ICICI Bank 1.63 pc and TCS 1.40 pc. Among the major indices, BSE-Realty shot up by 1.67 per cent, BSE-FMCG by 1.42 pc and BSE-Auto, 0.12 pc.
However, BSE-Healthare fell by 1.50 per cent,BSE-Consumer Durable 1.32 pc and the BSE-Capital Goods by 1.11 pc. The total market breadth continued to remain negative as as 1,662 stocks ended with losses, while 1,138 finished with gains on the BSE. The total turnover fell sharply to Rs 2,823.33 crore from the last weekend's level of Rs 3,686.41 crore.