Shanthi Venkataraman

India emerged the leader in the market rally across Asian markets on Wednesday. With a gain of 344 points, its biggest rise in eight months, the BSE Sensex has managed to recoup much of the loss it suffered on Monday's trading session. Metals stocks staged a sharp recovery; the rally was, however, across the board.

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In contrast to the previous trading session that was marked with volatility, it was a relatively smooth sailing for the benchmark indices on Wednesday. The bulls appeared reluctant to let go of the buying opportunities trigged by the recent correction. This was reflected in the advance-decline ratio, with eight stocks advancing for every ten traded on the BSE. Mid-cap and small-cap stocks raced ahead of large-caps this trading session, spurred by the demand for real estate stocks.

Buzzing stocks

The stock of

Adani Exports

hit its upper circuit limit of five per cent.

Ruchi Soya, Goetze India, Gujarat Petronet, Hindustan Oil Exploration

and

Veejay Lakshmi Engineering

were stocks that buzzed in the mid-cap and small-cap space. Stocks that touched new highs include

Bombay Dyeing, Crompton Greaves, GMR Industries

and

Bajaj Auto

.

Sector focus

After the hammering it received in the last couple of sessions, metal stocks got a boost on Wednesday. The BSE Metals Index gained five per cent. The stock of

Hindustan Zinc

soared 12 per cent.

The stock of

National Aluminium

also gained five per cent after it hiked aluminium prices by six per cent, the second increase this month. Other gainers include

Tata Steel, Sesa Goa, Essar Steel

and

Jinal Stainless

.

There was heavy action in the banking space, where several PSU banks attracted investor interest.

The stocks of

Union Bank, PNB, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Canara Bank

and

Allahabad Bank

were prominent gainers.

Dena Bank

was a notable gainer, too, jumping nine per cent. The stock of

Karur Vysya Bank

appreciated about 5.2 per cent. The bank is to consider offering free shares. A rights offer is also on the cards.

Stocks in the housing and real estate sector continues to hog the limelight. The stocks of

Mahindra GESCO

,

Bombay Dyeing

and

Bata

were major gainers.

Dewan Housing

also gained on the back of the housing boom.

Stock-specific action

The stock of

Lupin

rose 6 per cent after it announced that its profits during the fourth quarter had more than doubled. Lupin is to distribute one free share for every one held.

The stock of

Apollo Tyres

gained about 4 per cent. The company is to meet on May 25 to discuss raising funds by way of a rights offer or public issue in order to fund its acquisition plans.

The stock of

Nagarjuna Construction

surged 4.3 per cent, after it announced that it had bagged its first international order valued at Rs 116-crore pipeline project, from Muscat. It has also received domestic orders worth Rs 246 crore.

The stock of

Ranbaxy Laboratories

gained Rs 11.6 to close at Rs 489.6. The company announced that it has entered into an in-licensing agreement for the Indian domestic market with the Netherlands-based pharmaceutical company, Eurodrug Laboratories, for asthma products.

The stock of

Gangotri Textiles

declined five per cent on the eve of its follow-on public offer.

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