Sensex off higher levels; Bharti Airtel up 4% on higher call tariff

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 23, 2013 06:09 hrs

The market, which opened higher this morning on positive cues from Asia, continues to trade modestly up amid stock specific activity. Realty stocks are back in demand after suffering some sharp losses in the previous session. Select metal, consumer durables, bank and capital goods stocks are trading higher.

A few stocks from healthcare sector are up in positive territory with smart gains. Power, information technology, oil and automobile stocks are mostly subdued.

At 20,002, more than 50 points off the day's high, the Sensex is now up 20.42 points or 0.1% from its previous closing mark. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange is up 4.85 points or 0.08% at 6,053.35, off the day's high of 6069.80.

Bharti Airtel is trading stronger by over 4% at Rs 367, following the telecom major hiking voice call prices to account for rising costs. According to reports, Bharti Airtel is reducing free minutes by up to a quarter and has increased prices of some call vouchers for prepaid customers by Rs 5 - Rs 15.

The call price increase will be extended to all of India's 22 telecommunication zones in a phased manner, the reports suggest.

Realty stock DLF is up nearly 2%. Ultratech Cement, Asian Paints, HDFC Bank, Cipla, HDFC, Hero Motocorp and ITC are up 1% - 1.4%. Grasim Industries, Larsen & Toubro, Tata Steel, Maruti Suzuki, Coal India, Jindal Steel & Power, Wipro, Mahindra & Mahindra, Sesa Goa, Kotak Bank and State Bank of India are up 0.5% - 0.8% now.

Hindustan Unilever continues to languish deep down in the red at Rs 458, losing 4.8%, on lower than expected third quarter results. The stock had plunged to Rs 447.85 earlier this morning.

HCL Technologies, IDFC, ONGC, BPCL, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Jaiprakash Associates, Bajaj Auto, NTPC, Hindalco and Tata Consultancy Services are down 0.5% - 1.6%.

In the currency market, the rupee rose to 53.66 against the U.S. dollar, gaining 15 paise, in early trades today. The rupee had closed four paise down at 53.81 against the greenback on Tuesday.

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