Markets open flat; Reliance leads gainers

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Markets open flat; Reliance leads gainers
Markets opened the day flat in line with Asian peers, which were subdued in trading. The Sensex gained 23 points in early trade while the Nifty lost 0.95 points.

Shares in heavyweight Reliance Industries was up by 1 per cent after reports that the Defence Ministry had cleared the company's KG-D6 block and gas discovery area NEC-26.

Shares in Mineral and Metal Trading Corporation (MMTC) hit a 52-week low ahead of a decision by the inter-ministerial panel, which will decide on a floor price for the company's stake sale by the government. MMTC it may be recalled had hit a 52-week high of as much as Rs 908.

ITC was trading lower after a decision by the West Bengal government to raise taxes on cigarettes from 20 per cent to 25 per cent. The Union Budget had already increased the excise duty in cigarettes to 18 per cent.

Prominent gainers from the Nifty were GAIL, HDFC, Hindalco, Larsen, Mahindra and Mahindra, ONGC, Wipro, Sun Pharma and Tata Motors.

Nifty shares that lost ground in trade were ICICI Bank, Infosys, TCS, Hero Motor Corp, Bharti Airtel, Bajaj Auto and Cipla.

Among non index stocks Aanjaneya Lifecare shares dropped 5 per cent after the company said it will defer an issue of foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs).

Core Education dropped after Moody's downgraded the stock. Realty stocks which have been volatile over the last few trading sessions continued to see buying interest with prominent gainers from the pack including Anant Raj Industries, DLF, Oberoi Realty and Indiabulls.

Meanwhile, markets in Asia were trading mixed with the Japanese Nikkei and the Singapore's Strait Times continuing to rally, while the Hong Kong's Hang Sang and the Korean Kospi dropped in trade.

Indian markets are expected to take cues from global markets with the next big trigger being the RBI Credit Policy on March 19.

Read more about: sensex, nifty
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