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Sensex pares gains on profit booking

March 24, 2009

The Sensex ended 21.38 points down on Tuesday, erasing early gains of as much as 2.9 percent, as investors took profits after the market had risen more than 13 percent over the past two weeks.

Selling was seen in ONGC (down 2 percent), Reliance Communication (down 3.9 percent), Infosys (down nearly 1 percent) and Jaiprakash Associates (down 6.7 percent), while ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and SBI were among the top gainers, rising 6.3 pct, 2.4 pct and 1.09 pct respectively.INDIA-STOCKS/

Financial shares extended their rally after investors cheered the U.S. Treasury’s plan to free banks of up to $1 trillion in troubled mortgage securities and other loans.

The Banking Index was up 2.1 percent on overall improvement in investor sentiments, while the Metal Index dropped nearly 3 percent.

Reliance Industries, which has the biggest weight on the main index, was up nearly 1 percent at 1,451.65 as the energy firm gets ready to start pumping gas from its Krishna Godavari basin field.

The top benchmark losers included Hindalco (down 4.5 percent), Reliance Communication (down 3.9 percent), and Tata Steel (lower by 3.6 percent).

The 50-share NSE index ended flat at 2,938 after touching the day’s high at 3,017.

FII data showed a positive net investment in equities of $78.3 million, while a net selloff was seen in debt of $84.1 million. Foreign funds have sold a net of $1.9 billion worth of shares so far in 2009.

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said today India’s growth rate was seen slowing to 6.5 percent in the fiscal year ending March 31, and that there was room for further monetary easing.

The PM in his speech today said the economy would revive in a big way in 6-7 months as the stimulus package starts to take effect.

Do you think uncertainty about the outcome of the upcoming general elections and a slowing economy will weigh on investors minds?

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