Indian markets crawl as investors await budget


Mumbai : Indian equities markets went up and down in volatile trading last week, but ended close to where they were a week ago, as investors waited anxiously for the budget to be unveiled Monday. A key index moved up from its previous weekly close, but only 1.01 percent.

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The 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) rose 148.41 points (1.01 percent) over previous Friday’s close and ended trade at 14,913.05 points.

The broader S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) followed the Sensex, gaining 1.1 percent from its last weekly close to end at 4,424.25 points.

Sensex hit an intra-week high of 14,955.5 and a low of 14,355.5 points, while the Nifty touched an intra-week high of 4,439.9 and a low of 4,249.7 points.

Volatility was rife in lesser market capitalised scrips as well, with the BSE’s midcap index closing just 0.32 percent higher than its previous weekly close, while the BSE smallcap index was up 0.42 percent.

Data with markets watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) showed that foreign funds were net sellers during the week, having sold scrips worth $387 million. They had bought $518.5 million worth of shares the previous week.

The week for the Sensex began on a flat note – a trend that was prevalent through most of the week.

On Monday, consolidation set in at Indian equities markets, with the Sensex falling after rising 191 points to close just 21 points above its last closing figure. It ended trade at 14,785.74 points.

Similarly, the Nifty ended the day 0.35 percent up at 4,390.95 points.

Profit booking ensued Tuesday, with the Sensex falling sharply in the last session to close 291 points lower. At end of trade, it stood at 14,493.84 points – 1.97 percent lower than Monday’s close.

The Nifty aped the Sensex to end the day 2.27 percent down at 4,291.1 points.

Traders bought realty, energy and banking stocks Wednesday, pushing the Sensex 151.63 points or 1.05 percent higher to 14,645.47 points.

The Nifty too ended the day 1.16 percent up at 4,340.9 points.

Markets ignored the reformist tone of the Economic Survey for 2008-09 presented Thursday, and closed flat, rising only 13 points to 14,694.31.

The Nifty ended 0.18 percent up at 4,348 points.

The top gainers in the Sensex were Tata Steel (up 12.7 percent), ONGC (up 8.8 percent), HDFC (up 6.2 percent), NTPC (up 4.8 percent) and DLF (up 3.5 percent).

Among top losers were Tata Motors (down 11.6 percent), ACC (down 3.8 percent), Hindalco (down 3.3 percent), Hero Honda (down 2.6 percent) and ITC (down 2.5 percent).