Sensex ends flat; Bharti up 4 pc

Sensex ends flat; Bharti up 4 pc

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 24, 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.

However, shares of Wipro, which gained after the company announced its Q1 results, ended lower by about one per cent. In early trade, Wipro had gained 4 per cent after posting a 30 per cent rise in first quarter profit.

Reliance Industries, which has the maximum weight in the Sensex, closed 0.12 per cent higher at Rs 1,060.15.

However, realty, metal and pharma stocks witnessed selling pressure and ended in the negative zone.

In the BSE-30 pack, 14 scrips ended with gains, while 16 closed in the red.

Jaiprakash Associates lost 1.72 per cent, the most in the Sensex pack, followed by ONGC, which sank 1.45 per cent. Other losers included DLF, which declined 1.35 per cent, NTPC 1.3 per cent, Sterlite 1.25 per cent and Jindal Steel 1 per cent.

Global markets were also firm, with Asian bourses rising in the range of 1-2.5 per cent. Most of the Europen bourses were also trading higher at mid-session.

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