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Thursday, Apr 11, 2002

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Tech stocks drive overall sentiment

Anand Ram

NO surprises guessing who moved the markets on Wednesday. Infosys was the star across bourses as the company came out with its last quarter numbers earlier in the day on Wednesday. As usual, the figures did not disappoint and markets buoyed, breaking with its southbound momentum in the last two days. And the euphoria seemed to spread through tech stocks, a majority of which gained in the trading session.

The Sensex began the day a little higher than Tuesday's close at 3465.39 points. Continuing with the weak sentiment of the last few days, the index languished in the intra-day low territory at 3460.03 points. Minutes later, the index spiked to the day's high of 3494.19 points following Infosys' announcement of its results. Thereafter, it continued in a saw tooth pattern though remaining range-bound through the rest of the day's session. Around 8.42 crore shares changed hands in the trading session.

Technicals were in conformity with the general market trend. The advances to declines ratio clocked 787 to 445. Advancing volumes clocked 6.31 crore shares while declining volumes recorded 1.91 crore shares. The depth indicator, the new highs to new lows ratio, notched 152 stocks to 34 stocks.

Stymied by weaker demand and billing pressures, Infosys' quarterly net profit grew about 15.7 per cent on a year-on-year basis and its guidance for fiscal 2003 beat expectations to stay 17-20 per cent. This had a salutary effect on the company's market valuations, which have been in a correction mode for the last few days. Infy's shares added Rs 171.8 to its stock to close at Rs 3774.90.

Other index movers featured stocks such as HCL Technologies and Satyam, both of which grew 0.4 per cent to close at Rs 253 and Rs 266.6 respectively. Satyam Computer, however, topped volume charts trading at over 68 lakh shares. Reliance Industries pulled down the Sensex losing Rs 3.7 to close at Rs 296.3. Volumes were moderately heavy at about 14.8 lakh shares.

Mastek gained over 6.5 per cent at Rs 366.60 after it put out its quarterly numbers. The software services group's total income grew over 18 per cent to about 71.5 crore this quarter. Volumes too were heavy at 18.56 lakh shares.

Top Cassettes' shares climbed a little over 6.5 per cent on the back of media reports that it may diversify into television software business in the near future. Shares closed at Rs 16.55 with volumes at 2.57 lakh shares.

Hindalco Industries' shares opened at the day' high after the company reported that its aluminium production had increased by 10.3 for the latest quarter. Hindalco's shares closed at Rs 735.5, a gain of Rs 5.5 over Tuesday's close.

Shyam Telecom closed higher by 7.1 per cent following reports that a US-based company would invest $15 million in its wholly-owned subsidiary. The counter closed at Rs 54.25.

Apollo Tyre closed almost 6.5 per cent higher at Rs 76.2 after the company reported that provisional revenues grew around 17 per cent this fiscal.

Following reports that ONGC had raised crude oil supply prices to local refiners from $16 to $21 a barrel, stock prices of Indian Oil, BPCL and HPCL took a knock. Share prices dipped between 0.5 per cent and 2.6 per cent in these counters. Other gainers profiled counters such as Wipro, MphasiS BFL and Unichem Labs. The day also saw companies such as Ranbaxy Labs, ONGC and Engineers India lose out in the trading session.

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