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Sensex rebounds after a crash

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Gains 17 at close on strong buying after a 490-point plunge in early trading

Our Bureau

Mumbai, April 28

Even a crash, almost as bad as the one on Black Monday the worst seen by the Indian bourses could not keep the markets down on Friday.

The bourses were expected to open weak and stay in the red all day, but strong buying at lower levels saw the Sensex bounce back from a 490-point slump in the morning.

SEBI order impact

The indices tanked on opening bell on Friday, with the Sensex falling to 11,345 and the Nifty shedding a whopping 165 points, within minutes of starting trade. The indices were falling in tranches of 100 and 50 points, respectively.

Confusion prevailed in the market as investors were not clear about the impact of the SEBI order and how they would be affected. There was concern that customers of the banned brokerages, Karvy, Indiabulls and Anagram Securities , would not be able to trade. The Securities and Exchange Board of India clarified before the markets opened that the order pertains only to the proprietary trades of these brokerages and not on their transactions on behalf of their customers.

The recovery

The pullback started almost immediately and the indices wiped off most of the early losses by mid-morning. Towards the end of the trading session, value buying buoyed the market and both Sensex and the Nifty ended in the green.

Overall, the Sensex gained 16.91 points and closed at 11,851.93 and the Nifty ended up by 0.25 points at 3508.35.

With SEBI coming down harshly in its interim order on the IPO scam, markets were jittery. But the quick recovery today left many analysts surprised. The negative triggers today were seen as ones that may signal the onset of corrections. However, liquidity pumped in by institutional and retail investors led to this short-lived correction.

Indiabulls

Indiabulls, one of the main accused in the interim order, hit the 20 per cent lower circuit in early trade. Subsequently, as SEBI kept in abeyance its judgment against the broking house, the scrip recovered slightly. It ended trade at Rs 282.50, down by 10 per cent.

NTPC, Hero Honda and Maruti Udyog were the big gainers among the Sensex stocks. NTPC moved up by 4.87 per cent to close at Rs 135.75. Hero Honda gained Rs 27.10 and closed at Rs 850. Maruti Udyog closed higher by Rs 21.55 at Rs 919.65.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers of nearly Rs 100 crore-worth securities today. FII analysts say that the interest rate hike of 0.27 per cent in China would be a matter of concern. However, so far, Indian markets have ignored all international negative cues, including rising oil prices. BSE will function for three hours on Saturday in order to run technical tests on the exchange's back up facility.

Related Stories:
SEBI bars Karvy, 23 other entities
FII buying pushes Sensex up 292 points

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 29, 2006)
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