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Markets end tad higher amid range-bound trades

Last updated on: May 16, 2013 16:20 IST

BrokersBenchmark share indices extended gains to end marginally higher on Thursday, amid a rangebound trading session, led by index heavyweight Reliance Industries and bank shares.

The 30-share Sensex ended at 20,247 up 34 points. Nifty ended up 23 points at 6,170.

Markets edged higher after a weak opening but gains were capped as profit taking was seen at higher levels after the sharp surge on Wednesday.

This follow's Wednesdays smart 2.5% rally - its biggest single-day rise in almost 18 months on growing optimism that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will slash key rates in the upcoming policy review in June.

"Nifty future has been making higher tops - higher bottom from last five consectives weeks. It managed to hold important support of 5980 and arllied towards 6200 levels.

If Nifty manages to hold 6200 levels then it may head towards life time of 6340-6350 levels.

"But if fails to cross 6200 then a small profit booking dip may be seen towards 6130-6080 levels," said Chandan Taparia, Derivative Analyst, Anand Rathi Financial Services.

Asian markets ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei stock average fell on Thursday, reversing from a fresh 5-1/2-year high earlier in the session, after banks offered downbeat earnings guidance and investors took profits in the face of doubts prompted by the breakneck speed of recent rises. The market was also dented by weak company capital spending by over the March quarter.

Meanwhile, Shanghai Composite added 1.2% to 2252. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 1646.95 crore on Wednesday.

Back home in India, broader markets rose in line with the Sensex. BSE mid-cap index outperformed with half per cent gains at 6,592. Small-caps were up 0.2% at 6,191.

Realty index rose for the second straight day on expectations that the RBI may further cut policy rates to perk up economic growth after the latest data showed a sharp fall in wholesale price inflation in April 2013.

The index was up 2% at 1,992.

Analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch expect the RBI to cut policy rates 25bp on June 17 and have preponed another 25bp rate cut to July 30

from October.

Oil & gas index surged 1.6%, followed by healthcare, bankex and capital goods indices.

However, selling pressure was noticed in FMCG and IT shares. BSE FMCG index ended down 1% at 6,685.

In the Sensex pack -- Hindalco led gains -- up 2.6% at Rs 111. Cipla and Dr Reddy's ended up 2.5% each.

Market heavyweight -- Reliance added 2.5% at Rs 840. Banking shares were also in green.

SBI and ICICI Bank advanced 1.5% each, followed by Sterlite and Tata Steel.

Bajaj Auto, India's second biggest two-wheeler manufacturer, today reported a 0.9% dip in net profit at Rs 765 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 as against Rs 772 crore posted in the same quarter a year earlier.

Shares of Bajaj Auto ended down 0.7% at Rs 1,808.

Tata Motors, which reported 7.02% fall in its global sales for last month at 81,241 units on Wednesday, was down 1.7% at Rs 303.

The major laggards in the index were ITC and Infosys -- down 1-2% each.

L&T Construction has won orders valued at over Rs 2,542 crore during the months of April and May.

Shares of L&T were up 0.8% at Rs 1,594.

Wind turbine supplier Suzlon has run up cumulative orders of 580 MW in the last three months. However, the stock dipped 1.2% at Rs 14.12.

BSE market breadth was marginally weak. Out of 2,080 stocks traded, 1,032 shares declined while 952 shares advanced.

Sohini Sen in Mumbai