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Sensex ends flat; Bharti up 4 pc

After touching a fresh 30-month high today, the BSE benchmark Sensex ended little changed at 18,130.98 points as cautious funds booked profits.

business Updated: Jul 23, 2010 18:10 IST

After touching a fresh 30-month high on Friday, the BSE benchmark Sensex ended little changed at 18,130.98 points as cautious funds booked profits.

Recording a rise for the third successive day, the 30-share barometer of the Bombay Stock Exchange closed higher by 17.83 points, or 0.10 per cent, at 18,130.98.

This translates into an overall 0.8 per cent rise in the Sensex for the week ended July 23, the third consecutive week of gains for the benchmark index.

The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty also registered marginal gains to end 0.13 per cent higher at 5,449.10 points.

The Sensex jumped by 124.4 points to touch a fresh 30-month high of 18,237.56 intra-day, but was unable to hold on to the gains. Analysts attributed the Sensex's rise in the early part of the day to the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council's upward revision of the growth forecast for FY'11 to 8.5 per cent from 8.2 per cent earlier.

However, the Sensex lost momentum as nervous investors booked profits at existing higher levels as they awaited a key report on the health of banks in Europe.

"Stress test of European banks, which would be announced tonight, would influence the trade on Monday," Bonanza Portfolio's Assistant Vice President Avinash Gupta said.

Nevertheless, marketmen said the investor sentiment remained bullish and the markets were likely to register gains in the coming days.

Bharti Airtel rose nearly 4 per cent, the most in the Sensex, a day after the telecom major said it will make an open offer to buy the remaining 22 per cent stake in Zambia's leading telecom entity, Zain Zambia.

State-run power equipment maker BHEL jumped 1.73 per cent after the company said its June quarter profit jumped 42 per cent jump to Rs 667.7 crore.

Boosted by an about 22 per cent rise in first quarter net profit, ITC rose for second consecutive session and ended 1.04 per cent higher.

State Bank of India climbed 0.7 per cent after the lender said it has raised USD 1 billion through bonds in the US market. Buying was also seen in the ICICI Bank counter and the scrip ended up 0.29 per cent.

IT bellwether Infosys bounced back today and ended 0.8 per cent higher.

First Published: Jul 23, 2010 18:07 IST