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Indian Shares Little Changed Despite Firm Global Cues

Indian shares are moving sideways on Monday despite firm global cues as investors await the presentation of the Union Budget later this week for direction. Also, the February series F&O expiry is slated for Thursday.

Elsewhere, other Asian markets are edging higher, with Japanese shares leading the way amid reports Japan is likely to nominate Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda and Kikuo Iwata, an economics professor at Gakushuin University, as BOJ governor and deputy governor. Both are vocal advocates of aggressive monetary expansion.

Trading in a narrow range, the benchmark BSE Sensex is currently up 19 points or 0.1 percent at 19,336, while the broader Nifty index is at 5,855, up 4 points or 0.07 percent from its previous close. IT, auto and power stocks are gaining ground, while oil/gas, FMCG, capital goods and realty stocks are subdued, limiting the upside.

Ranbaxy is leading the gainers in the Nifty pack with a 4 percent rally, while TCS, JP Associates, Maruti Suzuki, ACC, Tata Motors, IDFC, Power Grid Corp, Infosys and Wipro are up 1-2 percent. Among the prominent decliners, Cipla, Kotak Mahindra Bank, BPCL, UltraTech and DLF are down 1-2 percent.

State Bank of India is moving up 0.8 percent after its board approved a proposal to raise capital via a preferential share allotment to the government. SAIL, Rashtriya Chemical and Fertilizer and Nalco are gaining between 0.3 percent and 0.7 percent on divestment reports.

L&T Finance Holdings is rallying 5 percent, SREI Infrastructure Finance is adding 7 percent and Religare Enterprises is climbing 10.5 percent after the Reserve Bank of India released guidelines for granting new bank licenses to corporates and other entities.

Kingfisher and Jet Airways are down 2-3 percent. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) will consider Malaysian airline AirAsia's application to enter the Indian aviation sector on March 6, the Hindu newspaper reported.

Sterlite Industries is edging down 0.2 percent after it unveiled plans to invest around Rs.2,500 crore to double its smelter capacity. Bharti Airtel is declining 0.4 percent after GSM operators reported marginal subscriber growth in January. Titagarh Wagons is losing 0.6 percent as it decided to wind up its joint venture with FreightCar America Inc.

by RTT Staff Writer

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