Mumbai: The sensex closed flat on Friday evening as investors booked profits even while keeping a nervous eye on the unrest in the Middle East and rising crude prices. Still, this was the second largest weekly gain for the gauge in the past 6 months after Diwali week when it reached its all-time high.
After a 250 point rise earlier in the day, the BSE Sensex consolidated short of the 18,500 levels and ended flat, while the Nifty also cut its gains to close flat at 5,530 levels.
Towards the end of trade, Reuters reported accelerating geo-political concerns in the Middle East, with the conflagration intensifying in Yemen. Reports of protests in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia also led to gains in crude oil of about 1%.
Sensex: 18486.45, -0.02%
Nifty: 5538.75, + 0.05%
Brent Crude: $115.70, +0.8%
That doesn’t compare favourably with Asian markets most of whom tracked the overnight gains in US stocks and ended with gains of at least a percent. US markets had their biggest daily increase this year after jobless claims fell and signs that economic activity was improving.
Banking stocks gained the most today following news that the Cabinet has cleared the Banking Amendment Bill. The bill proposes to remove the cap on voting rights in mainly private sector banks and bring voting rights in line with equity holdings.
Auto stocks moved up on better than expected February sales.
BSE Bankex: 65.45 +0.53%
BSE Auto: 39.01 + 0.44%
Federal Bank: 373.3 + 2.73%
IndusInd Bank: 238.85 + 2.73%
Oil marketing companies too spiked up following the government’s announcement to give an additional Rs 21,000 crore subsidy for these companies.
HPCL: 329.25 + 5.8%
BPCL: 577.8% +1.24%
Bajaj Finserv extended gains made yesterday on the back of news that Berkshire Hathaway would tie up with Bajaj Allianze General Insurance to enter the insurance space.
Bajaj Finserv: 544.7 + 3.3%