Markets hover around day highs
Markets firmed up further to trade near day highs as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who took additional charge as the Finance Minister yesterday has started plans to put the country's sluggish economy on a revival path. The gains were led by Infosys, ITC and ICICI Bank.
The BSE Sensex was up 54 points at 17,022 after touching an intra-day high of 17,027 so far and the Nifty added 15 points at 5,157.
The June futures and options contracts expire today.
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In the broader markets, the midcap and the smallcap indices were up 0.5% each outperforming the Sensex which advanced 0.3%.
The Asian markets were trading mixed. Nikkei, Straits Times and Hang Seng up 0.3-1% were the notable gainers as investors cut bearish bets ahead of a two-day meeting of euro zone leaders starting later in the day.
Back home, among the sectoral indices, Power index up 1% was the top gainer followed by Capital Goods, Metal, and PSU up 0.5% each. However, rate sensitives like Auto, Realty and Bankex have turned flat with a negative bias.
The top gainers among the Sensex-30 were NTPC, Tata Power, Mahindra & Mahindra, Jindal Steel, Infosys up 1-1.5% each. Coal India was up 1% after the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has asked the Coal Ministry to fast-track the process of taking back the coal blocks from private firms which have not developed them and giving the deallocated coal mines to Coal India (CIL).
Among the losers were GAIL, Hindustan Unilever and TCS down 0.5-1%. Tata Motors was down 1% on concerns of rising inventory levels due to sluggish demand for which the company has decided to shut down production for a period of three days.
The market breadth was positive. 1376 stocks advanced while 864 stocks declined on the BSE.