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Saturday, Aug 14, 2004

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Sensex continues to register losses

G. Madhan

HIGHER inflation rate and firm international crude prices appeared to haunt the secondary markets on Friday.

Aided by the surge in prices of fruit and vegetables, edible oil and other manufactured products, inflation hit the 41-month high as it rose by 0.1 per cent to 7.61 per cent.

The 30-stock index, BSE Sensex, registered losses third trading day in a row, as it fell by 36.85 points (0.72 per cent). Sensex opened weak at 5126.91 points about 13 points lower than the previous day's closing. It registered volatility through the day as it traded within a band of about 60 points before closing the week at 5102.92 points.

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A slightly broad-based index, the S&P CNX Nifty fell by 9 points (0.56 per cent) to 1598.2 points. Mid-cap stocks, however, remained the favourites as the index, CNX Midcap 200, rose by 1.04 per cent to 1732.35 points.

On the BSE, most of the indices barring the BSE PSU closed the day on a negative note. Of the total 1,938 stocks that were traded on the BSE, 932 logged gains, 912 registered losses and the rest remained unchanged. Among the Sensex constituents, 9 stocks advanced and the rest declined. Stocks that registered sharp fall include Hindustan Lever, Bharti Tele and MTNL.

Among the index heavyweights, Reliance Industries and ONGC registered gains. The stock of Reliance Industries rose by 0.3 per cent to Rs 476.8; ONGC rose by 2.1 per cent to Rs 691.05.

Cement and mid-cap pharma stocks buoyant: Cement stocks were also among the gainers. Strong buying activity was witnessed in the stocks of ACC (2.4 per cent), Gujarat Ambuja Cements (3.9 per cent) and Grasim Industries (2.8 per cent). Other cement stocks that gained smartly include Prism Cement (15.7 per cent), Mysore Cements (12 per cent), Shree Digvijay Cement (9.9 per cent), Kakatiya Cement (8.8 per cent), India Cement (7.3 per cent) and Madras Cements (6.1 per cent).

Mid-cap pharma stocks continued attract the limelight. The stocks of Orchid Chemicals (13.6 per cent), Unichem Labs (11.7 per cent), Neuland Labs (9.9 per cent), Alembic (9.6 per cent) and Suven Life Sciences (7.8 per cent) were also among the gainers.

Other stocks that witnessed sharp gains include Mahavir Spinning (12.5 per cent), Madhucon Projects (9.9 per cent), Birla Corp (9.3 per cent), Vardhman Spinning (8.3 per cent) and KSB Pumps (8.5 per cent).

Auto stocks down: Auto stocks were among the losers on Friday. The stocks of Tata Motors (2 per cent), Mahindra & Mahindra (2.5 per cent), Maruti Udyog (1.6 per cent) and Escorts (1.6 per cent) closed the day on a negative note. Hero Honda and Bajaj Auto also closed the day marginally lower.

Other stocks that declined included Jain Irrigation (3.5 per cent), Apollo Tyres (3.1 per cent), iGate Global (3.2 per cent) and Ballarpur Industries (2.5 per cent).

Stocks and news: Tobacco major ITC plans to merge its subsidiaries ITC Hotels, Ansal Hotels and Bay Islands Hotels with itself. Coupled with sharp increase in trading volumes the stock of ITC Hotels rose by 20 per cent to Rs 162. ITC, on the other hand, fell by 2.3 per cent to Rs 1018.75.

KEC International has bagged two new orders worth Rs 91 crore, to build two transmission lines, from Power Grid Corporation of India. The stock was up 5.7 per cent to Rs 90.3.

Zandu Pharma has announced an issue of bonus shares in the ratio of 1:2. The company has also announced a final dividend of 10 per cent for the FY'04. The stock rose by 2.5 per cent to Rs 3,190.55.

After the close of the day's trading, Mid-Day Multimedia announced that it plans to consider an issue of bonus shares. The stock fell by 2.5 per cent to Rs 31.15.

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