| What lies ahead'
Mumbai, Feb. 25: Stock indices were on a roller-coaster today as budget-induced jitters got the better of investors, who appeared to have ignored the survey's reform pointers.
The sensex closed at 6569.72 in a modest loss of 4.49 points, or 0.07 per cent, over its previous finish of 6574.21. It hit an intra-day high of 6622.62 but lost steam later.
Such was the nervous anticipation for finance minister P. Chidambaram's Monday manuscript that foreign investment boosters in property, retail, bank and telecom were lost on market operators. 'Investors are cautious and it's a good thing to do before investing,' said Dhiraj Sachdev of ASK Raymond James.
A small section of the market was scoffing at the uneasy wait for the budget, saying the slew of decisions taken by the government over the past few weeks has raised the possibility of the budget being 'politically correct' even as the bulk of the reforms are pushed outside it.
Calling the survey reform-oriented, most brokers said the market has failed to react positively because of the difficulties faced by the UPA government in liberalising foreign investments. Investors, in any case, prefer to wait for the budget before making fresh commitments.
High net-worth investors have been signing new derivatives contracts after the government allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investment in the construction sector.
The trading lull has not put off foreign institutional investors, who pumped Rs 765.50 crore in the first three sessions of the week, taking the total to Rs 6975 crore till February 23.
The volume of business on Dalal Street was Rs 2192.22 crore compared with Rs 3433.50 crore on Thursday. SBI clocked the highest turnover at Rs 105.26 crore followed by ONGC at Rs 95.04 crore and RIL at Rs 87.80 crore.