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Markets end higher led by software shares

L&T is the top Sensex loser, down by almost 2.5%

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Benchmark share indices ended higher on Tuesday helped by gains in software technology shares after better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings from Tata Consultancy Services boosted investor sentiment.

The 30-share provisionally ended up 128 points at  17,225 and the 50-share ended up 27 points at 5,227.

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(Updated at 14:32 hrs)

Markets have trimmed the gains and have come the days high on selling pressure among Bharti Airtel and L&T. Indices firmed up and were trading near their day highs led by software technology shares after better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings from Tata Consultancy Services.

By 1430 Sensex was up 89 points at 17,186 and the 50-share Nifty gained 14 points at 5,215. The Sensex had touched an intra-high of 17,232 and the Nifty touched an intra-day high of 5,232.

On the global front, Japan's Nikkei share average fell on Tuesday, weighed down by falling Asian indexes as political flux in Europe fanned fears of a widening euro zone debt crisis and investors were anxious ahead of a week of big financial events. The Nikkei fell 0.8% to 9,468.04, while the broader Topix index lost 0.7% to 803.94.

Market players said a sudden slide in Asian stocks signaled investors were jittery about the prospect of a destabilised Europe as well as Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan meetings to decide on further easing measures later this week.

European markets are trading firm with CAC, DAX and FTSE gaining by nearly 1%.

Back home, BSE Technology index has zoomed by 5% followed by counters like Power, PSU, Metal, Consumer Durable and FMCG, all gaining between 0.2-0.4%. However, BSE Capital Goods and Realty indices have declined by nearly 1% each.

From the IT space, TCS has zoomed by nearly 13% after the software major reported better-than-expected a 3.28% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) rise in net profit at Rs 2,895 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2012. Analysts expected the company to report a net profit of Rs 2,861 crore in the recently concluded quarter. TCS had reported a net profit of Rs 2,803 crore in the previous quarter. Infosys and Wipro have spurted between 2-4%.

Other notable include Tata Power, Coal India, Hindalco, HUL, Hero Moto and BHEL, all gaining between 1-2%.

On the losing side, L&T is the top Sensex loser, down by almost 2.5%.

Telecom service providers are facing selling pressure on concerns that the steep increase in spectrum reserve price proposed by the telecom regulator would result in huge capital expenditure. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has proposed a high reserve price for telecom spectrum to be auctioned, at nearly Rs 3,622 crore per MHz in the 1,800-MHz band for GSM services. Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular were down 3% each.

BSE market breadth was marginally negative with 1,373 declines and 1,204 gainers.

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