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Sensex closes above 7,300
FIIs lead buying frenzy; banking stocks in limelight

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Our Bureau

Mumbai, July 11

DOMESTIC bourses showed no signs of pausing for breath on Monday. Buoyed by global markets and drop in crude oil prices, domestic markets ended at yet another record high, with the Sensex closing above the 7,300-mark.

The 30-stock benchmark index gained 94.66 points to end the day at 7,306.74, an appreciation of 1.31 per cent.

The Nifty registered a 1.03 per cent gain, closing trade at 2,218.85, up by 22.65 points from Friday's close.

Monday's buying frenzy was led by foreign institutional investors, according to dealers.

Frontline index stocks such as ICICI Bank, ACC and Bajaj Auto were the big gainers of the day.

ICICI Bank gained Rs 28.05 and ended trade at Rs 452.50, an increase of 6.61 per cent. ACC netted gains of 4.63 per cent with its share price moving up by Rs 18.25 to Rs 412.35.

Bajaj Auto closely followed with a gain of 4.42 per cent to close at Rs 1398.45 with a Rs 59.25-gain.

Fund interest in Bajaj Auto was high, as the company had recently completed several road shows across Europe, market sources said.

Monday's rally in the markets mirrored several Asian and other global markets. South Korea's Seoul Composite ended up 1.81 per cent, while Taiwan netted gains of 1.57 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng moved up 1.38 per cent. The drop of crude prices to $59 per barrel added to the positive sentiment in the bourses.

Banking stocks were in the limelight today. Analysts say this is was because of expectation of better results by banks due to increased interest earnings. BSE Bankex closed with a 2.68 per cent gain.

Mid-sized banks, including Kotak Bank, Canara Bank and UTI Bank, posted gains of over 2.5 per cent.

Trading volumes on Monday were above average. At NSE, 38 crore shares worth over Rs 5,815 crore were traded. BSE volumes aggregated over Rs 2,950 crore. Advance decline ratios in both exchanges were positive.

Tuesday's sentiment is likely to be determined by the results announcement of technology major, Infosys Technologies. In April, Infosys' earnings outlook for the quarter ended June 2005 had upset the market. Dealers are following a wait-and-watch policy on how trading unfolds on Tuesday.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 12, 2005)
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