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TCS Helps Lift Sensex By 21 Pts In Range-bound Trade

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Boosted by earnings, TCS led software service companies higher, helping to lift the key S&P BSE Sensex on Friday, 19 July by over 21 points to 20,149.85 and overcome weak global cues and sustained selling by foreign funds.

The 30-share index opened higher and moved in a 145-point range before ending at 20,149.85, a gain of 21.44 points or 0.11 per cent, climbing for the third straight day. The Sensex added 191.38 points this week.

The broader Nifty index on the National Stock Exchange erased all its gains and ended lower by 8.85 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 6,029.20. The SX40 index on the MCX-SX added 2.54 points.

"The benchmark indices opened with a positive gap, extending Wednesday's momentum. However, it was unable to sustain itself at higher levels amid profit-booking ahead of the weekend," said Amar Ambani, head of research at India Infoline.

Tata Consultancy Services was the top gainer on the Sensex, climbing 4.92 per cent after it posted a better-than-expected 15.5 per cent increase in consolidated net profit for the first quarter.

As a result, Infosys and Wipro also moved up. The BSE-IT index, which rose 2.81 per cent, was the top gainer among sectoral indices.

The gainers included auto stocks led by Tata Motors and Reliance Industries, ahead of its results. The rise in the Sensex was capped by declines in ICICI Bank, HDFC, Sun Pharma, BHEL, L&T, HDFC Bank, Sterlite Ind, NTPC, Jindal Steel and Tata Steel.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told industrialists in New Delhi the government will take all steps to boost investment.

Hinting at the RBI reversing its recent tough monetary measures to curb rupee volatility, Singh promised to unleash more FDI reforms and push infrastructure initiatives to boost growth.

Most Asian markets declined amid concern that growth in China and Japan's economic reforms may be losing stream.

Key indices in China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan dropped by 0.15 per cent to 1.62 per cent, while Hong Kong Hang Seng index firmed up by 0.08 per cent.

European stock markets slipped from an almost seven-week high in early trade as technology firms dropped in the wake of disappointing earnings from Google Inc and Microsoft Corp. Key indices in France, Germany and UK eased by 0.40 per cent to 0.46 per cent.

In the domestic market, 16 scrips in the Sensex gained, including Bajaj Auto (3.68 per cent), Hero MotoCorp (2.62 per cent), Tata Motors (2.52 per cent), GAIL India (2.51 per cent), Bharti Airtel (2.33 per cent), Coal India (1.79 per cent), Infosys (1.65 per cent) and Wipro (1.49 per cent).

However, BHEL dropped 8.02 per cent, followed by Sun Pharma 3.35 per cent, Sterlite Ind 2.93 per cent, Jindal Steel 2.77 per cent, ICICI Bank 2.64 per cent, HDFC 2.35 per cent, NTPC 1.78 per cent, Tata Steel 1.47 per cent and Larsen 1.08 per cent.

Among sectoral indices, S&P BSE-Teck firmed up by 2.20 per cent, S&P BSE-Auto 1.66 per cent and S&P BSE-Oil and Gas 0.67 per cent. The S&P BSE-CG dropped by 1.99 per cent, followed by S&P BSE- Power 1.87 per cent, S&P BSE-Bankex 1.84 per cent, S&P BSE-Realty 1.83 per cent, S&P BSE-CD 1.19 per cent and S&P BSE-HC 1.00 per cent.

The market breadth turned negative, with 1,310 stocks declining, 1,033 scrips advancing and 144 scrips ruling steady. Total turnover moved up to Rs 1,929.18 crore from Rs 1,905.35 crore yesterday.

Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 178.30 crore yesterday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.