Sensex up despite headwinds, TechM gains on BT stake sale

Despite headwinds, Indian markets are off to a positive start today with the Sensex up 0.28 percent at 19440 and the Nifty up 0.17 percent at 5908.

While Standard & Poor's again warned that India still faced a downgrade possibility in its sovereign rating to junk grade if reforms are not implemented, Moody's felt the country's growth prospects for 2013 have improved.

Market analyst Sudarshan Sukhani also cautioned that after a strong sustained rally, this market is giving clear signs that higher levels are difficult to achieve. Reuters

Market analyst Sudarshan Sukhani also cautioned that after a strong sustained rally, this market is giving clear signs that higher levels are difficult to achieve.

"The Nifty may go up 100-200 points, but that would be the end of this leg of the up move," he said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

The Index of Industrial Production data for October will be keenly watched given the contraction in September.

RIL, Infosys, Wipro, TCS, SBI, ICICI Bank, Tata Steel, Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors, Hindalco Inds,Sun Pharma, BHEL , Mahindra & Mahindra, are among gainers in Sensex and Nifty.

ONGC, NTPC, Tata Power, Dr Reddys Lab, HUL, Gail India, HDFC Bank are among losers in Sensex and Nifty.

The BSE Small-Cap index and BSE Mid- Cap index was trading flat.

Meanwhile, given the dismal volumes in the market, the Finance Ministry has reportedly sought suggestions from market participants on possible changes in the capital gains tax and securities transaction tax (STT) structure.

Reports also indicate the government may announce some fresh trade-related incentives soon after exports showed a contraction in November. The trade deficit stood at $19.3billion.

Stocks in news

NMDC stock is down 1.7 pct at Rs 156.80 after the govt launched 10 pct stake sale in the state-run miner. The government has fixed Rs 147 a share as the floor price for sale of its 10% stake in the company.

Tech Mahindra is the top gainer in BSE IT, up 2 percent after British Telecom sold its remaining 9 percent stake in the company at a floor price of Rs 855