Sensex sluggish in afternoon trade, Bharti outperforms | business | Hindustan Times
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Sensex sluggish in afternoon trade, Bharti outperforms

business Updated: Mar 25, 2010 15:43 IST

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A benchmark index for Indian equities on Thursday was trading on a sluggish note in afternoon trade, ruling 18 points higher than its previous close, even as Bharti Airtel's scrip rose on news that its overseas acquisition was almost complete.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 17,458.51 points, was ruling at 17,469.46 points, 18.44 points or 0.11 percent higher than its previous close at 17,451.02 points.

At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader 50-share S&P CNX Nifty was ruling at 5,234 points, a gain of 0.17 percent or 8.7 points from its previous close.

Broader markets were flat, with the BSE midcap index up 0.14 percent and the BSE smallcap index almost unchanged from its last closing figure.

Kuwait's Zain Telecom Thursday confirmed that its board of directors has approved the offer from Bharti Airtel to acquire its African assets, other than those in Morocco and Sudan.

The Bharti scrip, which opened at Rs.310, rose 3.22 percent to touch an intra-day high of Rs.316.70, before settling at Rs.313.50.

Healthcare, realty and capital goods stocks saw buying interest, while PSU and auto scrips came under selling pressure.

The market breadth was pretty balanced at this time, with 1,387 stocks advancing, compared to 1,389 on the decline, while 98 remained unchanged.

In other Asian markets, most benchmark indices ended trade dull.

Hong Kong's Hang was down 1.1 percent at 20,778.55 points, while the Chinese Shanghai composite index closed 1.23 percent lower at 3,019.18 points.

The South Korean Kospi ended trade with modest gains, up 0.44 percent, at 1,688.39 points, while the Japanese Nikkei shut shop 0.13 percent in the green at 10,828.85 points.