Sensex gains 23 points

Mumbai: Nothwithstanding internal as well as external negative factors weighed on the market, the benchmark sensex survived to land in positive terrain to close the week up by 23 points at 16,972.51 on selective buying mainly in capital goods, pharma, power and auto sectors.

The market resumed on a firm note with the Bombay Stock Exchange sensex crossing 17K-mark for the first time after six week to a high of 17,109.95 on hopes of rate cut by the apex bank, which were dashed when the Reserve Bank in its monetary policy meeting on Monday kept the key interest rates and cash reserve ratio (CRR) unchanged pouring cold water on widespread expectations of at least 0.25 pct cut in the interest rates.

As a results, the sensex tumbled by 244 points or 1.44 pct on Monday but recovered on the next day, despite rating agency Fitch lowered India`s credit rating outlook to negative, after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured that his government is determined to take "tough" decisions to reverse the rising fiscal deficit, amid falling global oil prices. The market mood was also supported after the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi said the government is taking steps to improve inflow of foreign investment.

Moving towards forming a new government by Greece and Spanish debt sale meeting targets also helped the rally as also expectations that the US Fed might expand stimulus measures in a two-day FOMC meeting starting Tuesday. The market remained firm for the next two days.

The benchmark sensex turned negative on the last day of the week on fall in the rupee value to a new historic low of 57.31, adding investors` woes as it will impact negatively on the import-based companies. Finally, it settled the week up by a mere 22.68 points or 0.13 pct at 16,972.51. It touched a low of 16,636.09.

The broad-based NSE 50-issue Nifty also edged up by seven points or 0.14 per cent to settle the week at 5,146.05. Both the key indices, Sensex and Nifty ended firm in three out of five trading sessions. The sentiment was some what improved after the pro-reforms parties won the greek polls, alleviating fears of the troubled nation exiting the Eurozone. Falling oil (Brent) prices to an 18-month low and upgrade of Indian market by JP Morgan also boosted the sentiment in the mid-week. The surge was also attributed to covering short positions by operators ahead of the expiry of derivatives contract on June 21.

However, on the last day the sensex lost ground to steep fall in the rupee to a new historic low and on reports of sharply lower-than-estimated gas reserves than previously estimated, the petro-chem giant RIL`s junior partner Niko Resources of Canada said on Thursday, which weighed on the second heaviest, closing down by 2.14 per cent. Second biggest drop of the year on the Wall Street on Thursday after investors hoping for major new Federal Reserve stimulus were disappointed and latest Chinese data showed cooling further manufacturing activity impacted negatively on the market sentiment.

IT shares declined after the US Federal Reserve lowered its growth outlook for the world`s largest economy. US is the biggest outsourcing market for Indian IT services firms. Some of the cement stocks also closed with losses as Competition Commission of India imposed stiff penalty of over Rs 6,000 crore on 11 cement companies.