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Retail FDI Off Cabinet Agenda; Pantaloon Extends Fall

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Pantaloon Retail fell as much as 3.2 per cent after the commerce minister said a proposal to open multi-brand retail to foreign direct investment was not on the agenda of the government's cabinet meeting on 13 September.

Pantaloon shares were down 2.8 per cent at Rs 146.75 at of 12:34 p.m., while Shoppers Stop was down 0.8 per cent.

However, the minister said the cabinet would discuss a proposal to allow FDI into the aviation sector, though the news had been expected.

Airline shares held on to their previous gains, with SpiceJet up 3.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) benchmark Sensex rose for the seventh day in a row by adding nearly 43 points in early trade on sustained buying by funds and retailers amid a firm trend in Asian markets. The 30-share barometer, which has gained over 688 points in the past six sessions, added 42.56 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 18,024.86 with PSU, capital goods and auto sectors leading the gains. The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty traded marginally up by 1.65 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 5,432.65. Brokers said sustained buying by funds amid a firming trend in Asian markets mainly influenced the trading sentiment.

In Asia, Tokyo Exchange led the gain as investors awaited the outcome of a US central bank policy meeting widely expected to see the announcement of further easing measures, they said. Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei was up by 0.46 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index by 0.10 per cent. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.07 per cent higher in Wednesday's trade.

National Aluminium Co Ltd shares gain 4.1 per cent, while Hindustan Copper gains 1.7 per cent, and Neyveli Lignite Corp rises 3.6 per cent. State-owned oil companies gain on continued hopes for a hike in fuel prices: Bharat Petroleum Corp gains 1.2 percent, while Hindustan Petroleum Corp is up 1.2 percent. Still, caution prevails ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting's outcome later in the day