Sensex opens firm at 18,198.68 pts, up by 60 pts

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Mumbai, Feb 7: BSE Sensex today resumed high at 18,198.68 points with a modest gain of 59.19 points from its last close of 18,139.49 on fresh speculative demand from FIIs and domestic financial institutional investors, brokers said.

After opening on a positive note, the market soon slipped into the red before recovering from lower level later. Cement, metal and realty stocks edged higher. Banking and IT stocks were suffered a setback on profit booking by local operators. The market breadth was extremely strong, a leading broker said. The government will today unveil its forecast on GDP growth in the current fiscal year.

US stock indices dropped for third straight session on 6 February after US Federal Reserve officials cast doubt on the outlook for more interest rate cuts. Most of the Asian markets are closed today and tomorrow in view of Lunar New Year.

European Central Bank (ECB) policy meeting is scheduled for today. The ECB is widely expected to hold interest rates at four per cent, and investor focus is likely to be on whether the ECB would keep its vigilance on inflation risks even as signs show that economic growth in the region may be slowing.

Later, the 30-share BSE Sensex was declined by 43.71 points at 18,095.78. Sensex touched a high of 18,198.68 in the initial trade.

Sensex shed 82.61 points at the day's low of 18,056.88, hit in early trade.

The broader CNX S&P Nifty index of NSE was down 1.75 points or 0.03 per cent at 5320.80 from it last close. However, it resumed flat at 5322.55 points. Later, it recorded a high at 5344.60 and a low at 5295.20 points in mid-morning session.

The BSE Mid-Cap index was up 1.52 per cent at 8,091.84, while the BSE Small-Cap was up 1.50 per cent at 10,569.05.

India's largest private sector firm by market capitalization and oil refiner Reliance Industries rose 0.27 per cent at Rs 2559.

India's largest private sector bank by assets ICICI Bank increased by 0.17 per cent to Rs 1154.80.

India's largest engineering and construction firm by revenue Larsen&Toubro gained 0.11 per cent to Rs 3784.80.

Among the Sensex gainers were the ACC rose by 1.92 per cent to Rs 779.50 followed by Grasim Industries by 1.76 per cent to Rs 2939.50, Tata Steel by 1.56 per cent to Rs 811.90, Tata Motors by 1.39 per cent to Rs 746.50, Reliance Communication by 1.10 per cent to Rs 690 and Reliance Energy by 0.96 per cent to Rs 2076.

Among the Sensex losers were Bharti Airtel fell 1.60 per cent to Rs 886, Ranbaxy Laboratories declined 1.13 per cent to Rs 379, Mahindra&Mahindra slipped 0.66 per cent to Rs 659.70, Hindustan Unilever gave away 1 per cent to Rs 203 and TCS skid 0.96 per cent to Rs 892.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei index was down 0.10 per cent. Markets in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan were closed, brokers added.


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