K. S. Badri Narayanan

Betting on robust economy, the US stocks maintained the momentum for a fifth straight week. The S&P 500 added one per cent while the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.7 per cent and Nasdaq gained 0.3 per cent.

Thanks to continuous foreign institutional investments, domestic markets too ended firmly. The BSE Sensex gained 0.27 per cent and the NSE's Nifty 0.16 per cent.

Banking majors HDFC Banka and ICICI Bank hogged the limelight as both hit new 52-week highs and closed with and some gains. HDFC Bank ADR jumped 6.9 per cent at $144.21 over the previous week close of $134.86; ICICI Bank ADR closed with a gain of 5 per cent at $43.55 ($41.44).

Tata Motors was the other counter to register its new year high at $19.1 and closed the week at $19.09 ($17.75), a gain of 7.5 per cent, after the auto major released robust sales figures. Tata Motors' total sales (including exports) of commercial and passenger vehicles in March were 75,151 vehicles, a growth of 38 per cent over 54,452 vehicles sold in a year-ago March. The company's domestic sales were at 71,046 (52,653), a growth of 35 per cent.

Information technology majors ended on weak note on the back of surging rupee against US dollar. Infosys Technologies slipped 1.2 per cent at $60.18 ($60.92), Patni Computer tumbled 4.65 per cent at $24.39 ($24.58) and Satyam Computer moved down 1.32 per cent at $5.22 ($5.29). Wipro, however, closed firm at $24.02 ($23.05), a gain of 4.2 per cent.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 5, 2010)
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