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Wednesday, Sep 25, 2002

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Late buying in HLL cushions sharp fall in tech stocks

Krishnan Thiagarajan

THE stock market continued to exhibited lacklustre trend for the second successive day on Tuesday as frontline software stocks witnessed a slide on the bourses. The overnight decline in the Nasdaq Composite Index following profit warnings by a fibre optics major, restatement of financial statements by Qwest and the overhang of war on Iraq depressed market sentiment for the US technology barometer. The impact of this was felt in the technology counters during the day's trading.

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The BSE Sensex closed for the day at 3022.25 points, 0.97 points (or 0.03 per cent) higher, bolstered largely by a late bout of buying in Hindustan Lever, one of the key pivotals in the Sensex. The sustained selling pressure by the FIIs continued as they remained net sellers during the day.

The Sensex opened for the day at 3005.92 points, touched a high of 3032.32 and a low of 2993.01 before closing for the day at 3022.25 points. The gross turnover at the exchange moved up from Rs 1047.93 crore on Monday's trading to Rs 1154.56 crore during the day's trading. The advances to declines ratio stood at 0.43, with 454 stocks appreciating in value while 1053 stocks logged declines. The stock price of 141 stocks remained unchanged out of 1,678 stocks traded during the day. The advances to declines ratio clearly reflects the bearishness prevailing at the bourses.

Among the major gainers during the day were stocks such as Autolec Industries, Nestle India, Indian Aluminium, BSES, Bajaj Auto, Glaxo India, Hero Honda and Ranbaxy Labs.

The Autolec Industries stock appreciated by Rs 5.95 (or 17.76 per cent) to close for the day at Rs 39.45. The trading volumes in the counter rose from 190 shares on Monday's trading to 12,518 shares during the day's trading.

Nestle India stock appreciated by Rs 20.95 to close at Rs 575.50. The trading volumes surged sharply from 1.47 lakh shares to 2.99 lakh shares. From the trading volumes in the stock, it is apparent that there were several block deals in the stock. There were reports in the past that Nestle's parent had been acquiring shares using the creeping acquisition route.

The Indian Aluminium stock appreciated by Rs 3.30 to close for the day at Rs 116.60. Compared to 1,050 shares on Monday's trading, the trading volumes in the counter rose to 6,693 shares. The two-wheeler stocks, which have had an indifferent run in the past few days, finally witnessed heightened activity during the day's trading. Both Bajaj Auto and Hero Honda perked up during the day's trading accompanied by heavy trading volumes. The Bajaj Auto stock appreciated by Rs 9.15 to close for the day at Rs 381.05. The trading volumes in the counter marched up from 38,651 shares on Friday's trading to 1.28 lakh shares during the day. Similarly, Hero Honda stock crept up marginally by Rs 6.05 to settle for the day at Rs 272.15, with trading volumes spiralling from 2.51 lakh shares on Monday's trading to 3.65 lakh shares during the day.

Among the pharma stocks, Glaxo India, Ranbaxy Labs, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories and Cipla were in the list of gainers. Riding on a three-fold rise in trading volumes to 10,364 shares, the Glaxo India stock appreciated by Rs 8.75 to settle at Rs 378.55.

Among the prominent losers were the frontline software stocks such as Infosys Technologies, Satyam Computer and Wipro. The other losers in the software sector were Silverline Technologies, Hexaware Technologies, Trigyn Technologies, NIIT, SSI, Digital GlobalSoft and Hughes Software.

The losers from other sectors were Morepen Labs, Ashok Leyland and KEC International.

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