BSE Sensex flat below 17K level

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Mumbai, May 23: The sensitive index of Bombay Stock Exchange was almost flat, hovering below the level of 17K in the mid-morning session, amidst choppy trade. The benchmark index had hit a high of 17,054.34, gaining 147.23 points from its previous close of 16,907.11, on fresh buying in select blue-chips. However, it failed to hold above 17,000 and was trading below the level almost flat in the mid-morning trading session. Similarly, Nifty of National Stock Exchange was also trading flat at 5,030, up by 4.55 points.

The market pared gains in mid-morning trade as investors turned cautious ahead of inflation data. Auto and metal stocks declined, while capital goods and consumer durables stocks rose. The market breadth was positive. Asian markets which opened before Indian markets were mixed, brokers asserted.

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), yesterday, said it has kept in abeyance a decision to impose upfront margins for institutional trades in the cash market. SEBI had earlier said that institutional investors will be required to pay upfront margins from 16 June 2008. In the light of difficulties expressed by the market participants, regarding implementation of upfront margining of institutional trades in the cash market, it has been decided to keep the same in abeyance, SEBI said in a circular issued to stock exchanges.

The market breadth was strong on BSE with 1,364 shares advancing as compared to 948 that declined and 80 that remained unchanged.

Among the 30-member Sensex pack, 18 advanced, while the rest declined.

The BSE Mid-Cap index rose by 0.13 per cent to 7,058.16 and BSE Small-Cap index gained by 0.55 per cent to 8,711.07.

Maruti Suzuki India was down by 2.19 per cent to Rs 787, Tata Motors was down by 1.88 per cent to Rs 650, Hero Honda Motor was down by 01.8 per cent to Rs 787.05.

Larsen&Toubro was up marginally to Rs 2,927.70 and Suzlon Energy was up by 0.86 per cent to Rs 294.10. However, Bharat Heavy Electricals declined slightly to Rs 1,746.85.

UNI

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