sify-After an early upmove and a subsequent retreat, the Indian stock market is modestly higher Monday morning, shrugging off weak global cues. Amid fears about U.S. interest rates and slightly weak Asian markets, investors are treading cautiously. Also, with some key earnings reports due this week, movements are somewhat listless at a few front line counters. The BSE benchmark Sensex, which declined to 27,663.82 after having advanced to 27,776.14 early on in the session, is currently up 49.40 points or 0.2% at 27,723.00.
The Nifty 50 of the National Stock Exchange is up 1.15 points or 0.01% at 8584.55. Among the gainers in the Sensex, ICICI Bank is up as much as 4.75% and State Bank of India is up 1.3%. The two bank stocks are up as Essar Group is expected to use the proceeds of the over Rs 86,000 crore sale of Essar Oil to halve its overall debt to about Rs 42,000 crore, bringing relief to the two lenders. Axis Bank is gaining 2.3%, while HDFC Bank is trading weak, losing about 1%.
GAIL India, NTPC, ONGC and Infosys are up 1% - 1.5%. Coal India and Lupin are modestly higher. Asian Paints, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Bharti Airtel, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Hero Motocorp are down 0.4% - 1.2%. Nifty stocks Kotak Bank, IndusInd Bank, Zee Entertainment Enterprises, Tech Mahindra, HCL Technologies, Eicher Motors, Idea Cellular and Bharti Infratel are down 0.5% - 1.5%.
Nilkamal Limited shares are up 9% on strong volumes. On the National Stock Exchange, the Nilkamal counter has clocked a volume of around 4.83 lakh shares so far this morning. Fortis Healthcare (up 8.5% at Rs 185) has also risen sharply on huge volumes.
Over 2.7 million shares have changed hands so far at the Fortis Healthcare counter on the National Stock Exchange. The company has announced that it has completed the acquisition of 51% stake in Fortis Hospotel Ltd and also acquired compulsorily convertible preference shares issued by Escort Heart Institute and Research Centre.