K.S. Badri Narayanan

WITH US Federal Reserve giving an indication that it will soon stop raising interest rates, US equities resumed its fourth-quarter rally; the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.9 per cent to 10,876.15 and the S&P's 500 increased 0.6 per cent to 1267.32. The Nasdaq Composite, however, slipped 0.2 per cent.

Foreign institutional investors' faith continued to propel the Indian stock markets to new highs. The BSE benchmark closed at a record high of 9284.46 and the NSE's S&P CNX Nifty at 2810.15.

Buoyed by the domestic market performance, a majority of the Indian ADRs also witnessed a sharp rally.

Leading the gainers' pack were Infosys Technologies, Satyam Computer and banking ADRs - HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank.

Apart from these counters, VSNL and Tata Motors also jumped sharply.

However, Dr. Reddy's Lab, which announced that it has received an initial approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to sell an anti-diabetic drug, closed marginally weak at $21.13 against the previous week close of $21.50.

Wipro, which said that it will install and manage SAP AG's Business One software in the US, closed a tad better at $11.61 ($11.18).

Wipro did not disclose the value of the contract by SAP.

On the other hand, Satyam finished firm $36.05 ($34.24) after it announced that it will work with China's eBao Tech to jointly sell software programs and services for the insurance sector.

VSNL finished firm at $18.7 ($17.99). It announced that it has been chosen as the network administrator for `South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe.'

Tata Motors gained on reports that it plans to start exporting sport utility vehicles to Russia, Eastern Europe and Australia by next year. The ADR closed firm at $13.79 ($12.48).

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