Sensex ends up with small gain of 23.97 points

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Mumbai, Mar 18: The Sensex today ended almost flat on the Bombay Stock Exchange, up by 23.97 points to close at 14,833.46 after shedding its huge intraday gains amid absence of buying interest and bouts of volatile trade. Sensex touched an intraday high at 15,169.61, gaining 360.12 from the previous close of 14,809.49 and touched a low at 14,677.24 before closing almost flat. Nifty index of National Stock Exchange touched an intraday high at 4,617.95 and a low at 4,468.55, before closing with a marginal positive gap of 29.90 points at 4,533.00 in late trade. The Indian bourses started the day in red and moved into positive zone but later failed to hold onto the gains and tumbled back in red.

However, the bechmark indices ended the day with a marginal positive gains in late trade, brokers said. The market had surged in afternoon trade after reports of top corporates paying higher advance tax in the fourth installment of March 15' 2008, raised expectations of good Q4 March 2008 results. Firm European markets had also aided the afternoon rally, brokers said. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap failed to move into positive zone till late trade, declined 1.48pc to 6,033.91 and 2.09 pc to 7,365.20 respectively. Realty and oil&gas stocks on sectoral index rebounded with marginal gains but Bankex and metal stocks ended the session in red. At the end of the session, BSE posted a turnover of Rs 6995 crore, as against previous Rs 5722.92 crore. The market breadth was still negative, BSE 1,926 shares declined as compared to 750 shares that advanced, while 44 shares remained unchanged. Nineteen shares of 30-Sensex pack traded in green.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) declined, while Hindustan Unilever and DLF were major gainers from the Sensex pack. Jaiprakash Associates and ACC were major losers from the Sensex pack. Most of the Asian markets were in green. Some of the frontline stocks like HDFC were up 5.82 pc to Rs 2,350.25, Ranbaxy Laboratories gained 4.52 pc to Rs 457.70, Hindustan Unilever moved up 4.02 pc to Rs 231.50, DLF rebounded up 4.94 pc to Rs 632.55, Tata Consultancy Services was up 3.04pc to Rs 816.20, Bharat Heavy Electricals gained 4.09pc to Rs 1,869.40 and Reliance Communications inched up 2.91pc to Rs 496.80. However, Jaiprakash Associates declined by 3.65pc, Tata Steel slipped 3.86 pc, HDFC shed 3.39 pc, Infosys dropped 2.32 pc and Hindalco Industries declined 2.18 pc.

Reliance Industries declined 2.31 pc to Rs 2,130.15. The company has paid advance tax of Rs 443 crore in Q4 March 2008 as against Rs 118 crore paid in Q4 March 2007. Larsen&Toubro (L&T) rose 2.46 pc to Rs 2,770. L&T has paid Rs 170 crore as advance tax in the fourth installment this fiscal as against Rs 80 crore for the last quarter of the previous fiscal.

UNI

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