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Markets edge up ahead of Budget
February, 20th 2010

Markets edged up marginally his week on cues from global peers. Investors were cautious ahead of the Union Budget, due next week.

The Sensex edged up 39 points to 16,192 thsi week. The Nifty added 18.05 points to 4,845.

The Sensex slipped to its lowest at 16,011 on Monday. A disappointing food inflation data dampened market sentiments. Food inflation touched 18% for the week ended February 6 on account of rising prices of potatoes and onions.

However, strong cues from US markets helped the Sensex recover most of its losses and touch a high of 16,481 on Wednesday. However, US Federal Reserve's decision to raise its discount rates dragged markets down on Friday.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said rising inflation was a matter of concern but exuded confidence it would ease in the next few months.

Prime minister's economic adviser, C. Rangarajan, said that India's economy is likely to grow at over 7.2% in the current fiscal.

The healthcare index jumped 2% to 4,863. The BSE bankex, IT, capital goods and metal indices also added over 1% each.

However, the oil & gas sector under-performed the broader markets. The index dropped 1.6% to Rs 9,655.

The BSE mid and small cap indices also declined over 1% each.

Metal stocks bounced back this week. Hindalco soared 8.3% to Rs 138. Tata Steel surged 5.3% to Rs 534. Sterlite, however, slipped 2.7% to Rs 766.

HDFC Bank, HDFC, Hindustan Unilever, Larsen & Toubro and Sun Pharma also gained substantially (1-6%) this week.

On the other hand, Bharti Airtel slipped 11.5% on news that it might acquire Kuwait-based Zain's telecom operations in Africa. Stock ended at Rs 314.

Reliance Infrastructure and DLF dropped over 5% each to Rs 1,003 and Rs 307, respectively.

Reliance Communications, Reliance, Jaiprakash Associates and Tata Power dropped 2-4% each.

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