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Markets end flat

SBI, L&T lead gains on the Sensex

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Benchmark share indices ended flat on Friday amid positive European cues and a marginal appreciaiton in the rupee against the US dollar.

The 30-share ended down 4 points at 16,218 and the ended down 1 point at 4,920.

The rupee trades at 55.41/42 per dollar, recovering sharply from the day's low of 56.09 as exporter dollar sales and a recovery in the euro towards session high hurts; pair had closed Thursday at 55.65/66.

Traders cite dollar flows from exporters who had still not converted half of their foreign currency earnings into rupees as mandated by RBI. Some selling from foreign banks on likely custodian flows also seen, say dealers.

Meanwhile, European shares were trading firm in early trades. The DAX was up 0.8% while the CAC-40 and FTSE-100 were trading with marginal gains.

Asian shares fell to their lowest levels of the year on Friday as early bargain hunting gave way to worries about Europe's raging debt crisis and weak global growth. However, they witnessed a mixed trend in closing trades with the Nikkei and Hang Seng ending marginally higher while the Shanghai Composite and Straits Times ended with marginals gains.

Among the sectoral indices on the BSE, Capital Goods was the top gainer followed by Metal and Realty indices.

In the Sensex top gainers include, SBI, L&T, Tata Steel and Gail India up between 1.5-3.2% each. Sensex losers include ITC, HDFC and Reliance. ITC ended down 0.6% at Rs 232 on profit booking after recent gains ahead of its results today.

Gail ended up 3.7% at Rs 337, after the state-owned company said that it has signed a natural gas sale and purchase agreement with TurkmenGaz for Turkmen gas shipped via the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline.

ITC Ltd, which has interests in diversified businesses such as cigarettes, edible oil  and hotels, has posted a 20% rise in net profit, at Rs 1,614 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.. The company's profit in the corresponding period a year ago was Rs 1,281.48 crore.

Telecom shares firmed up today after a government commission said it wants more spectrum to be auctioned. Bharti Airtel ended up 0.1% at Rs 298.

JP Associates has moved higher by 2.9% end at Rs 61.35 on reports that the company is planning an outright sale of its cement operations in Gujarat and in discussion with a global cement giant for the same.  The transaction is expected to fetch about Rs 6,000 crore.

Among other shares, Vikas WSP has soared 9% to end at Rs 63.60 on back of huge volumes, on reports that the company plans to more than double capacity to produce guar gum after surging demand for the product.

Crompton Greaves has dipped 2.3% to end at Rs 106.05 after reporting 60% year-on-year (y-o-y) fall in consolidated net profit at Rs 100 crore for the quarter ended March 2012, due to higher employee and raw material cost. Net sales grew 6% at Rs 3,077 crore on y-o-y basis.

In the broader market, the BSE Mid-cap ended up 0.4% while the BSE Small-cap ended up 0.5%. The market breadth on BSE was positive with 1,477 gainers and 1,242 losers.

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