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Feb 13, 2009 at 12:21pm IST

Markets pick up pace, Sensex up 1.68 per cent

Mumbai: Indian equities markets rose on Friday morning on positive cues from other Asian markets and on expectations that the interim railway budget could cut some freight rates.

By a little before noon, a key index had risen 1.68 per cent over its previous close.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) was at 9,624.74 points at this time, 1.68 per cent or 158.91 points higher than Thursday's close. It had opened at 9,540.6 points, higher than its last close of 9,465.83 points.

LOOKING AHEAD: The traders are looking forward to a good Railways Budget, mood is upbeat.

The S&P CNX Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was at 2,941.7 points, 1.68 per cent higher than its previous close of 2,893.05.

The BSE midcap index was 1.37 per cent higher, while the BSE smallcap index was up 1.32 per cent.

Of the 13 sectoral indices on the BSE, that for consumer goods stocks gained the most.

Leading the gainers' list on the Sensex at this time were Reliance Infra (up 4.89 per ent to Rs.576.90), Mahindra and Mahindra (up 3.87 per cent to Rs.311.45), Jaiprakash Associates (up 3.63 per cent to Rs.75.70) and Tata Steel (up 3.56 per cent to Rs.192.05).

The only losing scrip on the Sensex, Sun Pharma, was down 1.65 per cent at Rs.1,087.30.

In other Asian markets, a key Japanese index, the Nikkei of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, was ruling at 7,852.41 points, 1.91 per cent higher than its previous close.

The Hang Seng, a key index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, was 1.77 per cent above its last close.

In the US, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 6.77 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 7,932.76.

The broader Standard and Poor's 500 Index rose 1.45 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 835.19. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index gained 11.21 points, or 0.73 per cent, taking it to 1,541.71.

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