Sensex declines 8 points; RIL gains on fresh buying

The BSE benchmark Sensex today closed eight points down on subdued buying by funds ahead of Union Budget.

The Sensex ended lower by 8.35 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 19,317.01. The gauge moved between 19,401.75 and 19,289.83 during the session. The index had dropped 317 points in the previous session.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 1.95 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 5,850.30. It moved between 5,873.80 and 5,835.80 druing the session.

Brokers said the market participants were cautious ahead of the general budget this month-end and refrained from enlarging their positions.

They said the market was partly supported on mixed pattern of trade in global markets and an upsurge in market-heavy Reliance Industries on reports the company with its Russian partner starting butyl rubber plant in Gujarat.

The RIL stock rose 0.69 per cent to Rs 862.65 and second heavy Infosys rose by 1.06 per cent to Rs 2,836.55. The two carry nearly 16 per cent weightage on the Sensex. Another index-kitty stock Bharti Airtel surge 4.64 per cent to Rs 309.80 on company bond-sale plans.

HDFC Ltd fell by 1.84 per cent to Rs 800.35 on Goldman Sachs downgrading the stock, while ITC fell by 1.50 per cent to Rs 292.05 on fears of hike in excise duty in the budget.

In 30-BSE index components, 15 stocks declined led by Coal India, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, HDFC Bank, Hindustan Unilever, State Bank of India and Hero MotoCorp.

Markets @ 09.00 AM (Reuters)

The BSE Sensex falls 0.09 percent, while the 50-share Nifty is down 0.19 percent. Infosys gains 1.27 percent, while Tata Consultancy Services is up 0.7 percent on hopes of incentives for exporters in the 2013/14 budget to be unveiled on February 28.

However, shares in Housing Development Finance Corp Ltd fall 2.85 percent after Goldman Sachs cut its rating to "sell" from "neutral", on expectations that Asia's third-largest economy would recover at a "modest" pace and the prospect of rising competition.

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