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Sensex stagnant
January, 16th 2010

A benchmark index of Indian equities gained a meagre 14 points this week from its last weekly close even as broader indices managed to move up significantly and foreign investors bought into a wide range of scrips.

Trading this week was range-bound on most days, and brushed aside improved industrial output numbers.

The 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) rose 14.1 points or 0.08 percent to end Friday at 17,584.87 points, from its previous weekly close at 17,540.29 points.

The broader S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) moved up 0.14 percent or 7.45 points from its last weekly close to end at 5,252.2 points.

Broader market indices, however, reflected the buying interest in mid-to-small sized scrips as the BSE midcap index ended 1.5 percent up and the BSE smallcap index rose 3.14 percent.

Data with markets watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) showed that foreign funds were net buyers during the week, having bought scrips worth $981.55 million.

According to Jagannadham Thunuguntla, the equity head for brokerage firm SMC Capitals, the benchmark indices will continue to see a lot of sideways movement, having rallied over 90 percent in a year.

'Such sideways movement is expected, and will be the norm for some time to come. Positive economic numbers and encouraging corporate results will not always translate into gains in the market,' said Thunuguntla.

The week started on a lacklustre note Monday, with the Sensex ending 13 points lower at 17,526.71 points due to profit booking in frontline stocks -- Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, and SBI.

The Nifty, which followed a similar trajectory to the BSE benchmark, managed to gain marginally at 5,249.4 points, a rise of 0.09 percent.

The government Tuesday announced that the country's industrial production grew at a better-than-expected 11.7 percent in November compared to 2.5 percent in the corresponding month last year.

This, however, failed to enthuse the markets with the Sensex losing 104.2 points or 0.59 percent from Monday's close and the Nifty shedding 0.74 percent.

IT companies Infosys and TCS however helped the benchmark indices stage a modest rally Wednesday, with both stocks hitting an all-time high.

The Sensex closed at 17,509.8 points, up 87.29 points or 0.5 percent, while the Nifty ended at 5,233.95 points, a gain of 0.45 percent.

Thursday, saw the Sensex make up for some of the losses, ending the day 75.07 points or 0.43 percent higher, while the Nifty moved up 0.5 percent at 5,259.9 points.

Friday saw another insipid day of trading with the Sensex closing a meagre 30.57 points or 0.17 percent down at 17,554.3 points, while the Nifty ended at 5,252.2 points, a loss of 7.7 points or 0.15 percent.

The top gainers in the Sensex were TCS (up 13.1 percent), Wipro (up 10.2 percent), Infosys (up 8.6 percent), ACC (up 7.5 percent) and Ambuja Cements (up 6.9 percent).

Among top losers were SBI (down 6.2 percent), Hindalco (down 3.9 percent), ICICI Bank (down 3.6 percent), Hindustan Unilever (down 3.6 percent) and Reliance Infra (down 3.3 percent).

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