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Saturday, Feb 14, 2004

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Stocks rise on steady buying

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Feb. 13

FRIDAY the 13th was a good day for the bulls of the Indian stock market. After a fortnight of swinging sentiment, the stock markets appeared to take a definite direction with the BSE Sensex steadily moving up 1.26 per cent and the NSE benchmark scaling 1.5 per cent higher.

The BSE's 30-share Sensitive index closed at 6011.66, nearly 75 points higher than yesterday's 5936.96 and the S&P CNX Nifty of the NSE closed at 1913.60 compared to its previous close of 1885.30.

Strong buying was noticed at several frontline counters and 24 of the Sensex stocks advanced while only five slumped.

In the `A' group, more than four stocks advanced for each one that declined and in the `B' group more than three stocks rose for every one that fell. The favourable advances to declines ratio suggested broad-based buying, a dealer said.

The bullish trend was triggered by buying at the Hindustan Lever counter, which after opening subdued, perked up on rumours that the company is planning a bonus issue or a hefty dividend.

A dealer said a foreign broker was buying the stock in large quantities.

The trend strengthened after buying picked up in auto, cement and PSU stocks.

"Somebody also bought the index in mid-day trade," said a dealer with a local broking firm. Foreign as well as domestic institutions were actively buying equities today, he added.

The latest SEBI data showed that the FIIs were net buyers of equities worth over Rs 135 crore yesterday.

Trend trackers are expecting the Sensex to reset its all-time high before the end of February.

"The resistance is, however, very strong at 6030, 6130 and 6250," according to one chartist. The next resistance for the Nifty is 1920.

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