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Markets gain despite Friday's drop on account of budget

During the week, the market gained nearly 230 points amid volatile trade, ahead of expiry of the derivatives contracts for the month.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 01, 2008 03:08 PM IST

Indian equities market ended the last week of February on a firm note even though the national budget unveiled on Friday disappointed several investors and led to an intra-day fall of 1.4 per cent for a key index.

During the week, the market gained nearly 230 points amid volatile trade, ahead of expiry of the derivatives contracts for the month.

The sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) ended higher on three out of the five trading sessions, while the broader S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange was up on four days.

Small-Cap and mid-cap indices were under-performers, data with the two premier bourses showed.

The main reason for the market anxiety Friday was a proposal to hike the capital gains tax on short-term investments in Finance Minister P Chidambaram's Union budget for the ensuing fiscal.

Investors were also disappointed that corporate tax and the rate of Securities Transaction Tax (STT) were proposed to be kept unchanged. This overshadowed the proposal to reduce central value added tax (Centvat).

As markets came to a close Friday, the 30-share Sensex had posted a weekly gain of 229.65 points, or 1.32 per cent, at 17,578.72, and the broader Nifty advanced 112.75 points, or 2.20 per cent, at 5223.50.

The mid-cap index of BSE rose 1.13 per cent and the small-cap index was up 0.34 per cent, both with gains lower than that for the Sensex.

The gains posted during the week were also on account of net investments to the tune of $546.30 million by foreign institutional investors (FIIs), showed data with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the markets watchdog.

Among individual stosks, Reliance Industries rose 1.17 per cent at Rs.2, 458.25 after the company said on Tuesday it had discovered more gas in an exploration block off India's east coast.

Maruti Suzuki surged 13.1 per cent at Rs 867.20 and Tata Motors rose 0.80 per cent at Rs 700.25 in the week. Mahindra and Mahindra also advanced 10.18 per cent at Rs 692.80.

But banking shares edged lower during the week. ICICI Bank slipped 0.77 per cent at Rs 1090.95 and State Bank of India lost 0.24 per cent at Rs 2109.70 HDFC Bank declined 1.46 per cent at Rs 1453.45.

Similarly, mobile phone service companies also took a beating with Bharti Airtel falling 2.90 per cent at Rs 825.60, and Reliance Communications shedding 1.25 per cent at Rs 574.55 during the week under review.

But Reliance Power rose 3.30 per cent at Rs 430.60 after its board-approved the issue of three bonus shares for every five held, to compensate for the slump in the stock price post listing.

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