Key Indian equity indices end flat (Roundup)

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Mumbai, March 4 (IANS) After four consecutive days of gains and helped by good buying in metal, banking and power sectors on Friday, key Indian equity market indices ended the day’s trade flat.

A benchmark index for Indian equities, the sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 24,704.59 points, closed at 24,646.48 points — up 39.49 points, or 0.16 percent, over the previous day’s close at 27,437.94 points. It had touched a high of 27,567.28 points and a low of 27,141.55 points in the day’s trade.

The wider Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also closed 9.75 points or 0.13 percent higher at 7,485.35 points.

“Following three consecutive days of an up-move, benchmark indices in India took a bit of a breather today and traded range bound for most of the day. The Sensex hit its highest level in more than four weeks and the Nifty hit its highest level in more than three weeks in today’s trading session,” said Shreyash Devalkar, fund manager – equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.”

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“Metal and mining stocks gained as copper prices rose in global commodity markets and as iron ore prices scaled fresh four-month highs buoyed by firmer steel prices in China. Banking and financial services stocks also attracted buyer interest,” he added.

The 100-scrip and 200-scrip indices were up by 0.34 percent and 0.38 percent, respectively. The mid-cap index was up by 1.13 percent and small-cap stocks by 0.75 percent.

In Friday’s trade, good buying was observed in metal, banking, power and finance sectors. Selling pressure was seen in telecom and IT sectors.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE metal index gained by 2.15 percent, banking index got augmented by 1.28 percent, power index went up by 1.19 percent and finance index moved up by 1.18 percent.

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However, telecom index dropped by 0.70 percent and IT index fell by 0.46 percent.

The major Sensex gainers on Friday were: BHEL, up 4.03 percent at Rs.107.25; Coal India, up 3.30 percent at Rs.325.20; State Bank of India, up 3.23 percent at Rs.188.40 and Tata Motors, up 2.14 percent at Rs.343.55.

The losers were: Sun Pharma, down 1.51 percent at Rs.857.20; Asian Paints, down 1.48 percent at Rs.867.10 and Maruti, down 1.28 percent at Rs.3564.80.

Among the Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei went up by 0.32 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained by 0.50 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng moved up by 1.18 percent.

In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was up by 0.74 percent, France’s CAC 40 went up by 0.57 percent and Germany’s DAX Index was up by 0.77 percent at the closing in the Indian markets.

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