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Friday, Jul 16, 2004

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Market bounces back on monsoon optimism

Krishnan Thiagarajan

THE optimism over quarterly earnings performance that are trickling in, potential revival of monsoons over the next few days, and relaxation of turnover tax norms fuelled the markets on Thursday's trading.

The BSE Sensex closed for the day at 4888.19 points, up 39.89 points (or 0.82 per cent higher). The Sensex opened for the day at 4849.38 points, touched a high of 4900.18 points in the forenoon session and a low of 4844.66 in the afternoon, before recovering sharply to close at 4888.19 points. The Sensex that had been caught in the bearish mode over monsoon fears and turnover tax regime finally gained some ground during the day's trading.

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Among the major gainers in the Sensex were Reliance, Infosys Technologies, ICICI Bank, ONGC and Hindustan Lever. Among the BSE Sectoral Indices, the out performers were the BSE Consumer Durables - 4.55 per cent, BSE IT Index which gained 1.79 per cent and BSE - PSU Index - 1.45 per cent. The ones that languished were BSE - Healthcare, BSE - FMCG and Bankex.

The S&P CNX Nifty also ended on a positive note, gaining 1.09 per cent to close at 1539.40. The Nifty Junior also gained 0.67 per cent to settle at 2991.30. Among the Nifty constituents, the top five gainers were Steel Authority of India, IPCL, Sun Pharma, National Aluminium and Tata Steel. The top five losers were Bajaj Auto, MTNL, ITC, Reliance Energy and Dabur. Among Nifty Junior stocks, the top five gainers were Jindal Vijayanagar Steel, Polaris Software, Mangalore Refinery, Punjab Tractors and CMC. The losers were Aurobindo Pharma, Cadila Healthcare, Ashok Leyland, TVS Motor and Union Bank of India.

The trading interest in the day was clearly dominated by steel stocks. The restoration of the DEPB benefits, firm demand from China along with rising steel prices, which were confirmed by China Steel, Taiwan's largest steel maker, revved up the steel stocks. Every alternate stock among the top gainers were steel stocks. Outside the top steel stock gainers such as Tata Steel, Steel Authority of India, Essar Steel, Ispat Industries, Jindal Vijayanagar Steel, the other gainers were Mahindra Ugine, Kalyani Steel and Saw Pipes.

Buoyed by robust trading volumes, the Essar Steel stock was among the top gainer, with the stock gaining Rs 3.9 (or 20 per cent) to close for the day at Rs 23.4. The trading volumes in the stock soared from 87.58 lakh shares on Wednesday's trading to 1.25 crore shares during the day.

The other gainers were Mid Day Multimedia, JK Synthetics, Alstom, Birla Corporation and Mahavir Spinning. The Mid Day Multimedia stock revved up by Rs 5.9 to close for the day at Rs 35.45. The trading volumes in the stock surged from 67,311 shares on Wednesday to 3 lakh shares during the day. The movement in the stock has to be seen in the light of Clear Channel International and Mid Day Multimedia decision to merge their operations of their outdoor signage business. Riding on strong first quarter earnings performance, the Alstom stock marched up by Rs 7.7 (or 19.3 per cent) to close for the day at Rs 47.45. The trading volumes in the stock rose from 79,781 shares on Wednesday to 3.81 lakh shares during the day.

Birla Corporation was the other stock that attracted heightened market activity, gaining Rs 9.05 (or 9.45 per cent) to close at Rs 104.75. Compared to 2.56 lakh shares traded on Wednesday, the trading volumes moved up to 10.81 lakh shares during the day. The movement has to be seen in the context of some foreign fund picking up stake in the company.

Among the losers were Balrampur Chini Mills, iGate Global and a string of pharma firms such as Aurobindo Pharma, Cadila Healthcare, Lupin and Biocon.

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