K.S. Badri Narayanan

AMID firm oil prices and increase in the rate by 25 basis points by the US Federal Reserve, the US market finished on a flat note. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the week marginally higher by 0.1 per cent at 10303.44 while the S&P-500 and the tech-focussed Nasdaq inched up 0.2 per cent to 1194.44 and 2057.37 points respectively.

But there was no let down in the bull run, as the BSE and the NSE continued to record their new historic high levels. Backed by fresh funds from Japanese investors, the BSE Sensex soars to all-time high of 7228.57 during the week before settling at 7136.39, a gain of 0.87 per cent over the week. The NSE's S&P CNX Nifty registered a gain of 0.8 per cent.

Most of Indian ADRs fared well and among them VSNL and HDFC Bank witnessed noticeable appreciation.

HDFC Bank has been witnessing a steady buying interest; even during last week too, 12.56 million shares changed hands. It gained 6.75 per cent at $47.89 against the previous week close of $44.86.

VSNL jumped 8.12 per cent to $11.11 ($10.58) on announcement that it has completed the acquisition of the Tyco Global Network (TGN) undersea cable network that spans 60,000 kms (37,280 miles) and the continents of North America, Europe and Asia. With the acquisition of TGN, VSNL is now one of the world's largest providers of submarine cable bandwidth. VSNL acquired the network for $130 million.

Among IT counters, Infosys gained 4.8 per cent at $76.47 (72.95) and Satyam 2.92 per cent at $26.4 ($25.65) amidst reports that Pfizer Inc has plans to use these firms for some computer and technology-related services, as part of a plan to pare expenses by $4 billion. Besides, Pegasystems and Satyam Computer jointly announced the extension of their successful North American Business Process Management partnership into Asia.

The other IT major Wipro, however, finished lower at $20.58 ($20.75). The quitting of its Vice-Chairman, Mr Vivek Paul, to become a partner at private investment firm Texas Pacific Group, seemed to have affected the sentiment for the counter.

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