Sensex rises by about 230 pts during week

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Mumbai, Mar 1: The 30-share BSE Sensex rose by 229.65 points or 1.32 per cent to 17,578.72 during the week ended friday even as the S&P CNX Nifty advanced by 112.75 points or 2.20 per cent to 5223.50 in the week on sustained heavy bull support by FIIs.

The market posted gains last week amid volatile trade ahead of expiry of February 2008 derivatives contracts. The BSE Sensex posted gains for 3 out of 5 days, whereas the S&P CNX Nifty advanced for 4 out of 5 trading sessions. Small-Cap and Mid-Cap indices underperformed the Sensex. The Finance Minister P Chidambaram proposed to hike the short term capital gains tax from 10 per cent to 15 per cent in Union Budget 2008-09, which he presented to parliament yesterday. However, there was no change in corporate tax and the rate of Securities Transaction Tax (STT) too was kept unchanged.

The BSE Mid-Cap index rose 85.94 points or 1.13 per cent to 7,680.39 in the week. The BSE Small-Cap index rose 32.72 points or 0.34 per cebt to 9,628.13 in the week. Both these indices underperfomed the Sensex.

Trading for the week started on an upbeat note with 30-share BSE Sensex gaining 301.50 points or 1.74 per cent at 17,650.57 on Monday, The broader based S&P CNX Nifty was up 89.95 points or 1.76 per cent at 5,200.70 on that day. Oil&gas and information technology stocks were in demand.

The key benchmark indices came off higher levels in late trade on Wednesday to settle almost flat due to selling in IT and banking counters. The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 19.80 points or 0.11 per cent at 17,825.99. The broader CNX S&P Nifty ended down 1.65 points or 0.03 per cent at 5,268.40 on that day.

On thursday, the barometer index BSE Sensex ended almost unchanged in volatile trade as derivative contracts for February 2008 series expired. The 30-share BSE Sensex ended down 1.51 points or 0.01 per cent at 17,824.48. However, the broader CNX S&P Nifty was up 16.7 points or 0.32 per cent at 5,285.1 on that day.

Market slipped in volatile trade on friday after finance minister announced a hike in short term capital gains tax to 15 per cent from 10 per cent in Union Budget 2008-09. The 30-share BSE Sensex slipped 245.76 points or 1.38 per cent at 17,578.72. S&P CNX Nifty declined 61.60 points or 1.17 per cent to 5,223.50 on that day.

India's largest private sector firm by market capitalization and oil refiner Reliance Industries rose 1.17 per cent at Rs 2458.25 in the week.

The company said it had discovered more gas in an exploration block off India's east coast. This is the company's eight discovery in the block.

Maruti Suzuki surged 13.12 per cent to Rs 867.20 and Tata Motors rose 0.80 per cent to Rs 700.25 in the week. The government reduced excise duty on small cars to 12 per cent from 16 per cent and cut excise duty on hybrid cars to 14 per cent from 24 per cent in the Budget.

Farm equipment maker Mahindra&Mahindra advanced 10.18 per cent to Rs 692.80. The Finance Minister proposed higher farm credit target in the Budget.

Banking shares edged lower during the week. ICICI Bank slipped 0.77 per cent to Rs 1090.95 and State Bank of India lost 0.24 per cent to Rs 2109.70. HDFC Bank declined 1.46 per cent to Rs 1453.45 whereas Centurion Bank of Punjab slumped 12.85 per cent to Rs 49.15 in the week. The swap ratio was fixed as 1 share of HDFC Bank for 29 shares of Centurion Bank of Punjab for the proposed merger of Centurion Bank of Punjab with HDFC Bank.

India's largest cellular services provider in terms of market capitalisation Bharti Airtel fell 2.90 per cent to Rs 825.60 and Reliance Communications shed 1.25 per cent to Rs 574.55 in the week.

Reliance Energy rose 0.76 per cent to Rs 1567.75 in the week. The company said on February 25 that its board will meet on March 5 to consider buy back of equity shares of the company.

NTPC, India's biggest power generation firm by revenue, advanced 1.95 per cent to Rs 201.7 in the week on signing a loan agreement for 68.56 million euros with Nordic Investment Bank to part fund its capital expenditure.

Reliance Power rose 3.30 per cent to Rs 430.60 after its board-approved issue of three bonus shares for every five held, to compensate for the slump in the stock price post listing.

The wholesale price index rose 4.89 per cent in the 12 months to February 16, higher than the previous week's rise of 4.35 per cent, government data showed on Friday.

Nifty saw a rollover of about 75 per cent to March 2008 contracts from February 2008 contracts when February 2008 contracts expired on February 28. The market wide rollover was 72 per cent to 73 per cent.

Railway Minister Lalu Prasad announced a cut in freight rates by 5 per cent on petrol and diesel in the Railway Budget for 2008/09.

Crude oil touched a record high above $103 a barrel on Friday after Ecuador shut a key export pipeline and a fire hit a major European natural gas plant, while the US dollar's fall to a series of lows kept fresh funds flowing in.

UNI

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