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The gainers

SBI was

the biggest gainer rising by Rs 66.85 to Rs 990.35.

Tata Steel

gained by Rs 39, 6.80 per cent to Rs 612.25; ONGC, ITC and Hero Honda gained 5.3 per cent each.

Mumbai, May 17

On the second anniversary of Black Monday, the stock market scripted a different story with the bellwether BSE-30 Sensex posting its biggest gain in almost eight months.

On May 17, 2004 that the market had registered its second biggest fall ever (564.71 points) after the general election served a surprise defeat for the reforms-friendly NDA Government.

Same day this year, the Sensex rose 344.08 points (2.90 per cent) to 12,217.81. Tata Steel and Hindalco Industries led the rally, courtesy copper, aluminium and zinc prices rebounding from a two-day decline.

Dealers said the reversal in metal price trend helped market sentiment in a big way, particularly since Monday's crash in global metal prices had triggered panic selling then on the stock market.

NSE's S&P CNX Nifty Index rose by 111.80 points (3.17 per cent) to 3635.10.

SBI was the biggest gainer on the Sensex, rising by Rs 66.85 or 7.24 per cent to Rs 990.35. Tata Steel gained by Rs 39 or 6.80 per cent to Rs 612.25 while ONGC, ITC and Hero Honda ended higher by over 5.3 per cent each.

Among indices, BSE Metal Index was the biggest gainer on Wednesday at 5 per cent, followed by BSE Oil & Gas index, which rose 4.35 per cent. Market breadth was also overwhelmingly positive with 2,111 shares ending positive as against 470 declines.

Foreign funds, however, continued to be net sellers, on concerns of "stretched valuations" in the Indian stocks markets. According to provisional figures with NSE, FIIs were net sellers to the tune of Rs 466.55 crore on Wednesday. With this, net sale by FIIs in the last three trading sessions has touched Rs 1,728.35 crore. In contrast, mutual funds were net buyers in the last three days, dealers said. According to SEBI, mutual funds were net buyers for Rs 2,626.20 crore in May.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 18, 2006)
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