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Friday, Dec 27, 2002

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Reliance lifts Sensex to seven-month high

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MUMBAI, Dec. 26

THE BSE Sensex today touched a seven-month high led by Reliance Industries, which is all set for the mega launch of its Infocomm venture tomorrow.

The 30-share benchmark index of the Bombay Stock Exchange gained 29.87 points (0.89 per cent) to close at 3382.64 points, its highest close since mid-May. On the NSE, the 50-share S&P CNX Nifty gained 9.8 points (0.9 per cent) to close at 1094.80.

The main attraction of today's trading was the movement on the Reliance Industries counter. The stock gained over three per cent to close at Rs 300.35 on the BSE, ahead of the inauguration of its much-anticipated limited mobility services by the Telecommunications Minister, Mr Pramod Mahajan, on Friday at Navi Mumbai.

Analysts said the launch of the telecom services would set the trend for tariff plans for the entire telecom industry. Reliance is expected to offer prices at considerable discount to existing tariffs in the market, they said.

The stocks of Reliance Infocomm's competitors, the other telecom sector players, fell sharply today. While Bharti Tele closed 2.5 per cent lower at Rs 23.45, Hughes Tele dropped 1.55 per cent to close at Rs 6.35. VSNL ended the day 2.16 per cent lower at Rs 101.95 and MTNL lost 1.06 per cent to close at Rs 102.40 on the BSE.

The major gainers of the day aside of RIL included Ranbaxy on news that it got US FDA nod for an anti-acne drug. The stock rose 3.9 per cent to close at Rs 597.85. Infosys Technologies also fuelled the rise ahead of the earnings season that begins next month.

There was some volatility in the latter part of trading due to the last day of expiry of the derivatives contracts. The last day of the derivatives contract led the daily volume in the derivatives segment of NSE more than the cash market. The volume on NSE's derivatives segment was Rs 3,764.24 crore. In comparison volume in the cash market was Rs 3,077.47 crore.

Dealers expect the market to perk up after the holiday season. Until then, they say, the market would remain lacklustre.

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