Alagappan Arunachalam

THE markets opened for the week with a bang on Monday ensuring that the BSE Sensex remains well above the 9,000-mark. The bellwether indices continued their gaining streak buoyed by information that industrial production clocked an 8.5-per cent growth in October, the highest in four months.

Range-bound movement marked the BSE Sensex and S&P Nifty in the initial three hours of trading. The bullish sentiment that followed carried the indices to new highs. However, profit booking in the last half-an-hour dragged the indices to close with modest gains of 0.73 per cent and 0.72 per cent, respectively.

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The evened out advances-declines ratio indicated a cautious sentiment.

White goods, banking and metal stocks stole the limelight in a cautious market. Shipping stocks closed on a negative note.

The consumer durables index on the BSE, which recorded a gain of 386 points in the past six sessions, continued its impressive journey. Unprecedented volumes were recorded on Blowplast's counter. The DG Piramal group's marketing arm closed with a 10-per cent gain. VIP Industries, however, appeared to be far behind. Volumes more than doubled on its counter.

Titan Industries continued to march its way up; it has gained 41 per cent in the past month.

Other gainers in the white goods sector include Whirlpool, Blue Star, Goldiam International, Vaibhav Gems and Bajaj Electricals.

Prominent losers in the sector were Timex Watches and Fedders Lloyd.Metal stocks continued to be on a high following Friday's sharp rise. Hindalco and India Foils in the aluminium space registered gains. The 11-day buying spree continued on Nalco's counter helping the stock to close with an 8-per cent gain.

Sterlite Industries was another prominent gainer in the non-ferrous space. Frontline stocks such as SAIL, Tata Steel, Sesa Goa and Essar Steel were among the gainers in the metals space.

A negative sentiment ruled over the shipping sector following a change in rule that allows overseas carriers to bid for shipment of natural gas negating the earlier joint venture scheme. Stocks such as Essar Shipping and GE Shipping closed on a negative note. Varun Shipping took a beating closing lower by 6 per cent. The bearish undertone also crept into Bharti Shipyard's counter. Shreyas Shipping bucked the trend on information that it had sold one of its vessels.

Crisil recorded an impressive gain of Rs 100 after a block deal took place in the early hours of trading. Record volumes were registered on its counter.

Buying interest was evident in the early hours of trade in Madhucon Projects after information that it had bagged orders worth Rs 175 crore from the Andhra Pradesh Housing Board. However, interest appeared to have waned away later and it eventually closed weak.

Top gainers among the Nifty constituents included Tata Motors, L&T, Jet Airways, ICICI Bank, SCI, HPCL, TCS, Reliance Energy, Zee Telefilms, HLL, Bharti Tele-Ventures, BHEL and Wipro.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 13, 2005)
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