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| Updated on May 14, 2011 Published on May 14, 2011

A continuation of concerns over the RBI's rate tightening and cautiousness ahead of a scheduled ministerial panel meet on fuel prices kept the markets guarded for the first three trading sessions of the week. However, taking a cue from other Asian and European indices, markets tumbled on Thursday, despite strong IIP numbers. Assembly election results, which were in line with expectations, lifted sentiments towards the end of the week. In all, it was a lacklustre week with the Sensex closing almost flat, making a nominal gain of 0.07 per cent. The Nifty lost 0.1 per cent. The broader markets fared a tad better than the bellwethers with the BSE 500 making slightly higher gains of 0.35 per cent.

Among the sectoral indices, a strong buying of consumer stocks, perhaps as a defence against recent market volatility, lifted the BSE FMCG index up by 4.4 per cent. The Realty, Power and Healthcare indices were the other gainers while the Oil and Gas and Bankex indices lost out.

Backed by bargain buying, SKS Microfinance came back strongly to close with a 14 per cent gain after being in red earlier this week. The company had declared a loss of Rs 70 crore in the fourth quarter due to lower interest spreads and higher provisioning.

While the lack of clarity on the US FDA issue still persists, good results arising from a strong growth in the home markets propped up the share of Ranbaxy Labs. Lupin, was another pharma stock that edged up 5 per cent, after a decent set of numbers.

FMCG major Hindustan Unilever shot up 12 per cent, after accelerating its sales growth to its highest level in two years in the Jan-March 2011 period. Other consumer counters that made handsome returns of over 5 per cent include Marico, TTK Prestige, Berger Paints and Bata India. Buzz of a possible stake sale in 3i Infotech by ICICI Bank to IBM, brought in 9.5 per cent returns for the 3i stock.

In the losers pack, ARSS Infra dropped by 26 per cent after a 12 per cent decline in net profits and a doubling of interest costs in the fourth quarter. A similar 18 per cent decline in net profits sent the Whirlpool stock down 10 per cent. Piramal Health too fell by 10 per cent as investors gave a thumbs down to its planned financial services foray. Even as IGATE constituted a new Patni board following the completion of the acquisition, the Patni stock lost about 6 per cent.

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