Market hits 18,000; does Rail Budget have a role to play?

While Dinesh Trivedi's Railway Budget, expected today, is likely to be a non-event for the markets, certain railway stocks like Texmaco Rail and Texmaco are seeing some buying today are up nearly 3 percent ahead of the Budget.

However, CNBC-TV18's managing editor Udayan Mukherjee points out that these stocks usually see a 10-15 percent gain before the Budget and usually fizzle out within 24 hours after the announcement.

Reuters

Moreover, since the frieght hike has already happened last week, the budget is sure to be a non-event for the Indian markets.

Tracking positive economic data of the US and the Federal Reserve's statements, the Sensex opened 200 points higher and hit 18,000, while the Nifty was just short of 5500. Moreover, India's inflation numbers for the month of February will also keep gains in check.

The FOMC said that they have decided to keep the federal funds rate at zero to a quarter of a percent at least through late 2014.

The morning session trade was led by auto, capital goods, bank, healthcare, consumer durables and metal stocks while, there were no losers on the BSE sectoral space.

Meanwhile, railway related stocks like Texmaco, BEML, Kalindee Rail, Siemens and Kernex Microsystems edged higher ahead of Railway Budget. The broader indices too were trading on a firm note. Shares of Texmaco surged 4% at Rs31, while Texmaco Rail shares also gone up 1% at Rs. 71. Concor shares were down at 0.44% at Rs895, while Stone India shares were also down 3% at Rs33. BEML shares was up 2% at Rs691. Kalindee Rail Nirman shares was trading flat at Rs 113, while Kernex Micro shares was up 2% at Rs94.

All eyes will be on whether Trivedi manages to muster enough courage to announce a hike in passenger fares for the sleeper and general class, which have not been revised for the past eight years.

The railways earn Rs 30,000 crore from passenger fares and a hike in this of even 10 percent could mean the ministry would receive an additional Rs 3,000 crore in a year. gained 1.5-2.5 percent .