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Markets have a firm closing

Last updated on: January 24, 2011 17:33 IST
BSEThe markets have begun the week on a sound footing, leaving behind an eventless session on Friday and the choppiness that underlined the trading activity through last week.

The Sensex ended at 19,151, higher by 143 points and the Nifty shut shop at 5743, up 46 points.

On the broader market front, the midcap index ended at 7251, higher by 59 points and the smallcap index ended at 9016, up 69 points.

The banking space hogged the limelight on the back of SBI's stellar Q3 performance and ahead of RBI's quarterly monetary policy meet scheduled on Tuesday, which is widely expected to effect a 25-bps rate hike in an attempt to tame the spiralling inflation rates.

On the global front, Asian stocks had a mixed session on mild bargain buying after a sell-off last week.

The key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, Indonesia, China, and Taiwan ended down by upto a percent each, while the South Korea, Singaporean and Japanese markets ended with gains of around a half a percent each.

And the European markets were marginally negative in mid-day trading ahead of the US Fed Reserve meeting on Tuesday. Wall Street had closed mixed on Friday; the Dow had gained 49 points, while the Nasdaq dropped 14 points.

SBI zoomed by 3.6% at Rs 3693 to top the gainer's list on the BSE on reporting better-than-estimated revenue growth for the third quarter ended December 31, 2010.

The country's largest public sector bank posted a 14% jump in net profit of Rs 2,826 crore (Rs 28.26 billion) in Q3FY11 compared with Rs 2,479 crore (Rs 24.79 billion) in the corresponding period last year on the back of higher growth in core income.

Tata Steel spurted by 3% at Rs 648 as its follow-on public offer
was well received by the investor community. The issue, which closed on January 21, was subscribed by 6.03 times.

And Maruti Suzuki India jumped 3.51% to Rs 1298 on reports that the company had hiked the prices across models by up to Rs 8,000 to combat rising input costs.

Among the other result candidates in the banking space, ICICI Bank rose 1.6% to Rs 1083 after net profit jumped 30.51% to Rs 1437.02 crore (Rs 14.37 billion) on a 8.78% rise in total income to Rs 8444.75 crore (Rs 84.44 billion) in Q3 December 2010 over Q3 December 2009.

Indian Bank surged 6% at Rs 234 after net profit rose 11.31% to Rs 491.29 crore (Rs 4.91 billion) on 14.4% increase in total income to Rs 2640.59 crore (Rs 26.4 billion) in Q3 December 2010 over Q3 December 2009.

And Union Bank of India gained 3.3% at Rs 337 after net profit rose 8.43% to Rs 579 crore (Rs 5.79 billion) on 24.88% increase in total income to Rs 4693 crore (Rs 46.93 billion) in Q3 December 2010 over Q3 December 2009.

On the other hand, Wipro continued its bad run after failing to meet market expectations in the third quarter; the IT major slid by 2.5% at Rs 444.

RIL dipped further below the 1000k mark, shedding another 1.5% at Rs 971, on concerns about a slowdown in gas production from the KG-D6 field. Cipla and RCom were the other significant losers.

The market breadth was positive. Out of 2,976 stocks traded on the BSE, there were 1,629 advancing stocks as against 1143 declines.

BS Reporter in Mumbai