Shanthi Venkataraman

THE market continued to outdo itself on Monday. The BSE Sensex soared to a new high led by buying in index heavyweights, TCS and Infosys.

While IT stocks stole the show, automobile, textiles and consumer goods stocks also had their share of the limelight. The Sensex soared 75 points to close at 7347.10 points, breaching its previous record high of 7306.7 points.

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In the last month alone, the index has notched up gains of about 6 per cent. The S&P CNX Nifty rose 21 points to close at 2234 points.

There was heavy action in the mid-cap and small-cap space as well. The CNX Midcap 200 appreciated nearly 2 per cent to close at 3364.10.

The stock of TCS was the biggest contributor to the Sensex gains. The stocks of L&T and HLL also gained smartly on Monday. The stocks of ITC, Reliance and ONGC were the key losers.

The stocks of MSP Steel and Nectar Lifesciences made their trading debut on Monday. The stock of MSP Steel notched an impressive gain of more than 50 per cent over its offer price, closing at Rs 15.3. The stock of Nectar Lifesciences, after recording at a premium of 25 per cent, lost steam towards the end of the trading session, but closed the day at Rs 258.6 a premium of 8 per cent over its offer price.

Frontline tech stocks Infosys, TCS, Satyam and Wipro were at the heart of the action. The BSE IT index rose 3.1 per cent on Monday, trouncing the gains of all other indices.

Stocks such as Ramco Systems and Helios and Matheson also attracted investor attention.

Another sector that lapped up investor attention was the textile sector. The stocks of Arvind Mills, Indian Rayon, Gokaldas Exports, Abhishek Industries, Eastern Silk and Rajasthan Spinning gained smartly.

Select stocks of the auto and auto component sector evinced buying interest. The stocks of Bajaj Auto and Hero Honda gained on the back of the announcement of quarterly results.

The stocks of Amtek Auto, Ashok Leyland and Sundaram Fasteners also sported impressive gains.

Company news and Stocks: The stock of Tata Steel rose 2 per cent to close at Rs 362.5 after it announced that it plans to buy a 5 per cent stake in a coking coal project at Queensland, Australia.

The stock of Aptech jumped 20 per cent to close at Rs 95.5. Veteran investor Mr Rakesh Jhunjhunwala has picked up a 10 per cent stake in the company and is to make an open offer for another 20 per cent. The Jhunjhunwala effect also played a role in the gains recorded by the stock of Viceroy Hotels. The investor is to pick up a 13.5 per cent stake in the hotel. The stock gained 7 per cent to close at Rs 93.5.

The stock of BPL soared by 20 per cent on reports that the group's founder and his son-in-law have reached an out-of-court settlement over BPL Communications.

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