Sensex pares early gains; realty, banking stocks under stress

Thursday, November 25, 2010

MUMBAI - A benchmark index of Indian equities Thursday gave up its morning gains as selling intensified in realty and banking stocks, a day after the Central Bureau of Investigation arrested senior officials of leading financial institutions for allegedly accepting bribes to extend loans to corporate houses in a housing finance scam.

The 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 19,560.25 points, was ruling at 19,475.16 points, up 15.31 points or 0.08 percent from its previous close at 19,459.85 points.

At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the 50-share S&P CNX Nifty was trading at 5,853.9 points - down 0.2 percent.

Broader markets indices were also in the green, with the BSE midcap index ruling 1.06 percent down and the BSE smallcap index trading 0.92 percent lower.

The CBI arrested senior officials from LIC Housing Finance, LIC, Bank of India, Central Bank of India and Punjab National Bank WEdnesday. Among others who were arrested was Rajesh Sharma, chairman and managing director, and two executives of Money Matters Financial Services — a Mumbai-based listed firm.

Real estate and banking scrips, which were hammered in late trade Wednesday, continued to be under selling pressure.

The market breadth was negative, with only 896 stocks advancing, compared to 1,916 scrips on the decline. Total 97 stocks were unchanged.

Other Asian markets were trading higher with investors shaking off the jitters from the exchange of fire by South and North Korean soldiers.

Trader sentiments were also up on positive data on incomes and consumer spending in the US, raising hopes that shoppers will come out in good numbers during the festive season.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was trading 0.47 percent higher at 23,130.94 points, while the Shanghai Composite index was ruling 1.34 percent up at 2,898.26 points.

The Japanese markets closed 0.5 percent higher at 10,079.76 points.

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