Sensex gains 33 pts on selective buying

The BSE benchmark Sensex today closed 33 points higher as investors indulged in selective buying mainly in realty and capital goods sectors ahead of the union budget.

The Sensex rose by 32.93 points, or 0.17 per cent, to close at 19,501.08. The gauge had touched the day's high of 19,554.48 at the outset. The index had declined 140 points in last two sessions.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty advanced 10.80 points, or 0.18 per cent to 5,898.20, after touching the day's high of 5,911.

Brokers said investors remained cautious ahead of the union budget this month-end and reduced their positions to pick fundamentally strong stocks in realty and heavy machinery sectors.

They said a weak ending in Asian region and lower opening in Europe capped the gains to some extent.

In 30-BSE index components, 17 stocks gained led by Reliance Industries, Larsen and Toubro, DLF Ltd, State Bank of India, Housing Development Finance Corp and Hero MotoCorp.

The realty sector index gained the most by 2.08 per cent to 2,078.90 followed by capital goods by 1.18 per cent to 9,878.03. Power index rose by 1.03 per cent to 1,835.89 and metal index by 0.49 per cent to 9,952.68.

Markets @ 02.30 PM (Reuters)

The BSE Sensex is up 0.42 per cent and the 50-share Nifty is higher 0.38 per cent, recovering after hitting their 2013 lows on Friday.

Shares in DLF Ltd gain 5.15 per cent after an executive indicated earnings would improve and said net debt would fall, according to analysts who attended the company's first ever post-results analyst meeting on Friday.

Public sector companies such as MMTC Ltd and Hindustan Copper Ltd gain 9.5 per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively on hopes of good demand in the upcoming stake sales by the government.

The government has not yet given a time frame for the stake sales.

Markets @ 09.00 AM (Reuters)

The BSE Sensex is up 0.15 percent and the 50-share Nifty is up 0.09 percent. The focus is on the budget with market participants waiting to see if it will provide fiscal reform measures or whether the government will increase spending ahead of the general elections in 2014.

State-run oil retailers gain after increasing prices of petrol by 1.50 rupees per litre excluding local taxes, and diesel by 0.50 rupees per litre from Saturday.

Indian Oil Corp up 1.8 percent, Bharat Petroleum Corp gains 1.6 percent and Hindustan Petroleum Corp is up 1.9 percent.

Jet Airways India Ltd shares fall 5.4 percent after Etihad Airways chairman said the Abu Dhabi-based carrier needs to revise its deal to buy a stake in the Indian carrier.

The Reserve Bank of India chief struck a hawkish note on Saturday saying there are upside risks to inflation from food and commodity prices, while room for monetary easing is limited. The comments will put some dampener on hopes of a March rate cut.

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