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Sensex sights 20,000; time to blink?

Politics, macro-economics, good earnings reports and a few positive corporate developments take the Indian stock market to yet another high, reports M C Vaijayanthi.
Hindustan Times | By M C Vaijayanthi, Mumbai
UPDATED ON OCT 15, 2007 08:51 PM IST

Politics, macro-economics, good earnings reports and a few positive corporate developments took the Indian stock market to yet another high on Monday. The Sensex was powered, especially by energy, metals and banking stocks, in its 639 points (3.47 per cent) climb to reach a record close of 19,058.67. The Sensex has now gained 3,000 points in just over four weeks.

Retail investors have been either on the sidelines or booking profits during the last 2,000-point rally even as foreign institutional investors (FIIs) continued to be net buyers, pouring in over $7 billion since September 18. “Buy at whatever prices stocks are available, we told our clients today,” said Sapan Patel of JNP Shares, who on average handles 200-300 retail clients. But brokers caution investors to develop a long-term focus.

A research study released by ING Investment said most participants from the 13 Asia-Pacific countries where they conducted a survey believed the investment climate would continue to be positive, though they did not expect their return on investment to be as strong as the previous three months. But 83 per cent of the respondents in China and 75 per cent in India said return on investments in the next three months would be as strong as the previous three.

“The survey findings suggest a possible correlation between investors’ level of sophistication and their confidence in the market. While investors in more mature economies such as Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore are seen to be more conservative in their outlook; those in India and China, on the contrary, are extremely optimistic, possibly due to their short investing history,” said Chris Ryan, Regional CEO for ING Investment Management Asia-Pacific.

Brokerages reported some amount of profit booking by individuals but mutual fund houses said inflows there was no rush for redemptions. In this frenzied atmosphere stock recommendations and market outlook are flowing in through mobile text messages, say market participants. “While the Securities and Exchange Board of India might have come up with strict rules for investment advisors, there are a several SMS messages we get from people we do not know,” said a trader.

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