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Markets end higher; HUL, banking stocks drag

Markets end higher; HUL, banking stocks drag
Markets ended the day marginally higher, despite sustained selling pressure in Hindustan Unilever and banking stocks following reports that bulk purchases of diesel would be included in inflation, thus diminishing the prospects of a rate cut.

The Nifty ended the day higher by 5 points, while the Sensex ended the day higher by 45 points. Among the Sensex gainers was Bharti Airtel which rallied sharply following the announcement of a hike in tariff rates.

Other index gainers were ITC, Ultratech Cement, HDFC Bank, Cipla and Asian Paints. Nifty losers apart from Hindustan Unilever were HCL Tech, BPCL, IDFC, Hindalco and Jaiprakash Associates.

Among non index stocks Jaypee Infratech lost heavy ground after reports of an auction of shares by the parent company.

PSU banking stocks were amongst the worst hit in trade today with Allahabad Bank, Andhra Bank, Bank of India losing more than 3 per cent in trade on reports that bulk price of diesel would be added to WPI thus fuelling inflation and reducing the prospects of the RBI cutting rates.

Syndicate Bank dropped more than 6 per cent following its quarterly results.

The metal index shed almost one per cent in trade with names like JSW Steel, Tata Steel, SAIL and NALCO dropping sharply.

Realty stocks that gained sharply in the last few trading sessions saw selling pressure with HDIL dropping by 11 per cent at one stage, after reports that the Vice Chairman sold partial stake. Other realty stocks that lost ground in trade were Indiabulls, Unitech and Sobha Developer.

Meanwhile, markets in Europe were trading steady after US markets hit a 5 year high. The UK's FTSE, the German DAX and the French CAC were all trading higher. Indian markets would now look to the RBI's forthcoming credit policy for cues.

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