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Volatility Checks March Ahead

The Sensex moved in the range of 11,017 and 10,784 levels and finally closed up 90 points or 0.83 per cent at 10,950 points. FIIs and mutual funds continued their buying spree

After volatile trades, Indian stocks managed to close marginally up in the week ended March 24, 2006. The 30-scrip BSE Sensex moved in the range of 11,017 and 10,784 levels and finally closed up 90 points or 0.83 per cent at 10,950 points. The Nifty added 1.41 per cent over the week. Among the broader indices, S&P CNX 500 added 1.13 per cent, while CNX Midcap index closed up 0.72 per cent. Buying from both FIIs and domestic mutual funds led the week's rally.

Stocks started the week on a positive note. Though the mood was choppy, stocks rose on firm Asian markets and news that the RBI would announce steps on rupee convertibility soon. The Sensex added over 81 points on Monday. The RBI move boosted market sentiments as the step is likely to give Indian companies access to overseas debt markets and reduce delays in foreign exchange transactions. Alternatively, it would also increase foreign investors' access to India's banks and debt market. If approved, the step would have positive impact on export-oriented companies.

Tuesday proved to be a historic day for the Markets as the Sensex touched 11,000 mark. However, the rally could not last. Investors resorted to heavy selling, triggering a fall in the index. The Sensex lost over 35 points on Tuesday.

Worried on high interest rates and valuations, Indian markets fell for the second straight day on Wednesday, with the Sensex closing down nearly 69 points over the day. Weak Asian markets added to the negative sentiments.

Markets closed flat on Thursday on news of head of the ruling Congress party, Sonia Gandhi, quitting as a member of parliament after a controversy threatened to disqualify her from the Parliament. However, markets recovered on Friday. The Sensex zoomed over 109 points through the day to end the week at 10,950 levels.

Among the 30-Sensex stocks, 12 closed down over the week. The pack of losers was led by Reliance Industries which dipped over 5 per cent. Gainers were led by 4.19 per cent rise in Ranbaxy Laboratories.

Among the sectoral indices, BSE Metal got its luster back and rose 7.57 per cent over the week. BSE FMCG and BSE Healthcare added 3.37 and 2.49 per cent, respectively. BSE Bankex slipped 0.91 per cent over the week.

The combined daily average turnover on BSE and NSE went up 2.06 per cent to Rs 13,625.44 crore in the week ended March 24. The FIIs invested nearly Rs 1,162 crore, while domestic mutual funds pumped in Rs 424.83 crore over the week.