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Sensex continues its forward march; touches 6-1/2 month high

business Updated: May 02, 2009 10:33 IST

Hectic short-coverings on the last day of April series helped the benchmark Sensex to close in the positive terrain at a six-and-a-half month high of 11,403.25 during the truncated week under review, completing its straight eight-week of winning string.

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) were closed on April 30 and May 1 for Lok Sabha elections and Maharashtra Day, respectively.

Indications of an early recovery in Indian as well as US economy mainly boosted the market sentiment.

Market participants said sustained buying support from foreign institutional investors (FIIs) encouraged operators and speculators to cover their short positions or roll-over their long positions to the next series on the last day of derivatives contract on April 29.

FIIs, the main driving force, were net buyers to the tune of Rs 2,031.03 crore in the week, including provisional data of Wednesday while domestic funds sold shares worth Rs 800.59 crore in the same period.

The BSE 30-share barometer moved in a range of 11,492.10 and 10,961.76 before concluding the week at 11,403.25, a rise of 74.20 points or 0.65 per cent.

In eight weeks, the bellwether Sensex has gained a massive 3,077.43 points, or 36.96 per cent.

However, the 50-issue Nifty of the NSE snapped 7-week of gaining streak and eased by 6.80 points, or 0.20 per cent, to settle the week at 3,473.95 from its last weekend’s close.

IT counters mainly attracted heavy buying interest on expectations of an early recovery in the American economy as Indian software companies get more than 50 per cent of revenue from the US.

India’s third-largest software services exporter, Wipro registered a sharp rise of 13.71 per cent in its shares over the week, further giving support to the IT counters.

Despite a fall in the net profit of the country’s second largest lender, ICICI Bank, the counter was in keen demand and was the top gainer among the Sensex after rating agency Goldman Sachs raised the stock to “buy” from “neutral”, indicating improving fundamentals of the bank.

A forecast by the Meteorological Department of a near normal monsoon as well as better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings announced by some key corporates also provided fillip to the market sentiment.

According to analysts, the next week might witness rally on sustained buying by foreign funds but fears of political uncertainty after the general election might weigh on the bourses. Meanwhile, in the midst of expectations of inflation

turning negative, it rose to 0.57 per cent for the week ended April 18, but still remained close to a three-decade low.

In the Sensex pack, Jaipra Asso flared up by 10.33 per cent, TCS by 6.97 per cent, Sun Pharma by 6.69 per cent, Wipro by 5.96 per cent, Infosys Tech by 4.05 per cent, Sterlite by 2.82 per cent and M&M by 2.58 per cent.

Among the sectoral indices, the BSE-IT spurted by 107.09 points or 4.19 per cent to 2,663.35 and the Bankex by 93.52 points or 1.67 per cent to 5,685.22.

However, the BSE-Realty tumbled by 126.16 points or 5.59 per cent, the BSE-Metal by 279.06 points or 3.89 per cent, the BSE-CD by 55.06 points or 3.04 per cent.

The BSE Small-cap and Mid-cap indices also underperformed the Sensex, indicating lack of retail investor interest at the higher levels, and were down 127.36 points or 3.13 per cent and 86.23 points or 2.40 per cent.

The Dollex-30 inched up by 3.97 points or 0.21 per cent to 1,869.04 while Dollex-200 softened by 3.56 points or 0.79 per cent to finish the week at 445.18.

The S&P CNX Defty declined by 17.85 points or 0.74 per cent to 2,401.85 and the CNX Nifty Junior also dropped by 104.60 points or 1.94 per cent to 5,281.80 from 5,386.40.