Our Bureau

Mumbai, March 18

ON a day of textbook trading patterns, investors bought shares that were cheap and drove the indices up to positive terrains after five days of bearishness.

With the markets having slipped by over 250 points in the last five days, bargain-hunting instincts took over dull market sentiment and ensured an upswing in the second half of the day.

Stock markets opened Fridays' trade on a note of sluggishness, with no major positive or negative news to shake it up. The indices trailed in the red all morning with the Sensex touching an intra-day low of 6,595.53. At these levels, scrips got their sheen back with investors picking up good buys at low rates.

Brokers say that buying was led by domestic mutual fund houses. The Sensex closed for the week at 6,700.34, up by 30.82-points from Thursday's close. The Nifty registered a 10.65-point gain and closed at 2,109.15. The market breadth continued to be negative. On the BSE, only 736 scrips advanced, while 1,698 declined. On the NSE, 222 advanced as against declines by 591.

Bharti Tele, ICICI Bank and Ranbaxy were the Sensex favourites today. The PSU index was not affected by the upsurge in trading and BSEPSU, BSE's index of public sector stocks, closed in the red by a marginal 0.22 per cent.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 19, 2005)
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