Small, mid-cap stocks shine; Sensex hits 8,700 intra-day

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Our Bureau

Mumbai, Oct. 3

SMALL and mid-cap stocks are back in the limelight. After September 22, when the stock markets lowered the circuit limit to five per cent and shifted several stocks in the T and Z categories, today's was probably the first trading session which witnessed active buying interest in mid-cap stocks.

But buying in blue-chip and fundamentally sound companies continued, pushing the key stock indexes, the Sensex and the Nifty, to close at a new high.

Stock traders said the bullish sentiment was aided by reports of an over 8 per cent GDP growth in the first quarter of this financial year.

The BSE Sensex opened firm in the morning and continued to rise as the day progressed; intra-day it even crossed the 8,700-level. But some selling at a higher level brought the Sensex below this mark and ended the day at 8,697.65, up 63.17 points (0.73 per cent). On the NSE, the S&P CNX Nifty closed at 2,630.05, a rise of 29.65 (1.10 per cent).

Brokers said some stabilisation in stock prices (especially small-cap) stocks were seen today. "If no more adverse news on small-cap and penny comes this week, then one can see further recovery in this segment," said a dealer with a domestic broking firm.

Actively traded index stocks in today's trading included Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors and other auto sectors stocks that gained on good sales reported for September.

"The festive season has started, and most of the auto companies are expected to show good sales numbers in the next few months," said an analyst with a domestic broking firm.

The banking sector too found buyers. This was mainly on good credit off-take expected in the busy season, which started from October. The notable gainers in this sector included the SBI subsidiaries, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Tranvacore and State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur. The rise in the stock price of these banks was on reports of a stock-split and that the Government might allow owing more than 200 shares for investors in each of the banks.

Brokers said the next trend of the stock prices would be decided by the financial results for the September quarter.

The overall sentiment in the market remained upbeat and brokers expect the Sensex to touch the 8,850-8,900 level soon.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 4, 2005)
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