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Sensex ends flat 2 days in a row; rupee gains sharply

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Sensex ends flat 2 days in a row; rupee gains sharply - July 3rd, 2012

The 30-share BSE Sensex ended flat for the second consecutive session on Tuesday as the market is eagerly waiting for fresh trigger to move up further. Yesterday also the market remained resilient to weak global manufacturing data, which indicates that investors (or traders) are still hopeful for some policy changes from new Finance Minister (cum Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh.
The BSE benchmark rallied as much as 128 points intraday, before closing at 17,425.71, up 26.72 points. Meanwhile, the NSE benchmark spiked above the 5300 level in early trade, but could not hold the same level; it gained 9.35 points at 5,287.95.
UR Bhat MD of Dalton Capital Advisors believes policy reforms will be the key driver for the market going forward.
Meanwhile, the Indian rupee stayed stronger for the fourth straight session today buoyed by positive investor sentiments on hopes long-stalled reforms will pick up pace after recent clarifications on retrospective tax. Foreign institutional investors have bought more than Rs 3,500 crore worth of equity shares in two days since Friday. The rupee appreciated by 63 paise to 54.80 against the US dollar. It was a sharp recovery from record closing low of 57.15 to the dollar (more than 4% rise).
Global markets remained positive today on hopes that central banks will take some policy action to give a boost to slowing demand. Market experts feel the European Central Bank may cut rates by 25 basis points in a meeting scheduled for July 5.
Richard Harris, chief executive, Port Shelter Investment Management feels the market probably have factored in around 25 bps. But, he still believes that would probably be taken as quite good news. "My feeling for say the next couple of months is quite positive in Europe." France's CAC, Germany's DAX and Britain's FTSE were marginally higher.
Back home, telecom shares rallied smartly ahead of cabinet meeting on spectrum pricing today. Top telecom operator Bharti Airtel shot up over 3% and Idea Cellular spiked 5.4%.
Housing finance company HDFC rose 2%. Country's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank gained 0.8% while its rivals State Bank of India and HDFC Bank were up 0.2% each.
Shares of state-owned oil & gas companies remained on buyers' radar; ONGC went up 1.44% and GAIL moved up 1.9%. Oil marketing companies like IOC and HPCL advanced 4% each while BPCL was up 1.6%.
Largest coal mining company Coal India and top aluminium company Hindalco Industries climbed 2%.
However, India's largest software services exporter TCS declined 1.4% due to sharp appreciation in rupee. Index heavyweights Infosys and Reliance Industries were down 0.2% each.
FMCG majors ITC (UP government hiked value added tax on cigarettes to 50% yesterday) and HUL slipped over 1%.
Jindal Steel was up 1.5% as Odisha Government has ordered stoppage of operations at Keonjhar Mines.
In the second line shares, sugar stocks like Bajaj Hindusthan and Balrampur Chini Mills jumped over 5%. Shree Renuka Sugars was up over 2%.
Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals spiked more than 8% amid heavy volumes. Essar Oil and Indraprastha Gas were up 6% and 2.6%, respectively.
3i Infotech rallied 8.6%. JM Financial, OnMobile Global, Titan Industries, United Spirits, Sintex Industries and Reliance Capital gained 4-5%. However, TVS Motor dropped for second consecutive session today, falling 1.5% after disappointing sales numbers for June.
NCC tanked 3.5%. GMR Infrastructure, Apollo Tyres and Mahindra Satyam were down 1.8%.
Among commodities, Brent and WTI crude oil gained over 2% as investors bet on further policy action to support global economic growth and tension over Iran and a strike in Norway kept oil supply concerns in focus.
A European Union embargo on Iranian oil started on Sunday and an oil workers' strike in Norway, the world's eighth-largest oil exporter whose crude helps set North Sea Brent prices, has started to slow crude exports.
Brent crude was trading at USD 99.3 a barrel at 15:45 hours IST and WTI crude at USD 85.43 a barrel.
Copper went up 1.9%. Precious metals like gold and silver were up 0.7% and 1.5%, respectively.
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