Bull run on Indian bourses continues

Thursday, 26 June 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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India's blue-chip share market index surged smartly higher for the second consecutive day Thursday, as institutional buying in blue-chip equities continued unabated on improved economic and industry outlook.

MUMBAI: The stock market benchmark 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange sensitive index or Sensex closed at 3,552.40, netting a gain of 35.13 points or one percent over its previous session's close.

The market operators have stepped up buying in stocks of heavyweight companies such as Reliance Industries and Hindustan Lever on hopes that normal monsoon rains this year would boost the country's economic growth.

The market mood in the last few sessions had been sharply boosted by increased inflows by foreign institutional investors, who act as the backbone of India's liquidity starved capital market.

The foreign funds are betting on higher Indian economic growth in the current fiscal year, helped by normal distribution of monsoon rainfall all across the country.

The market index has smartly rallied for the past four weeks and has recovered substantially from a six-month low touched in April this year.

"The bull run on the bourses is not showing any signs of losing steam. Despite some speculations of technical correction after the sharp rise in valuations of most heavyweight counters, the mood is very bullish," said a market analyst.

"Investors are betting on a sharply higher economic growth in the current fiscal year, boosted by normal monsoon rainfall and, as a result of this, an increase in agriculture output," the analyst added.

While technology counters such as Infosys Technologies, Satyam Computer and HCL Technologies led Thursday's rally, stocks of automobile companies and select index heavyweights continued to enlarge their gains.

In the technology sector, Zee Telefilms, India's largest private broadcaster, gained 5.3 percent to touch 91.05 on fresh institutional buying.

Infosys Technologies, India's largest listed software exporter, rose 3.4 percent to 3,242.50 and Hyderabad-based Satyam Computer closed with a gain of 3.2 percent at 187.75.

HCL Technologies, a New Delhi-based software development and services major, ended 3.1 percent higher at 147.75 on large-scale institutional buying.

In the old economy sector, tobacco giant ITC gained 3.6 percent to touch 769.10, Hindustan Lever was up nearly one percent at 177.65 and State Bank of India, the country's largest commercial bank, closed with a gain of 0.7 percent at 371.35.

Reliance Industries, India's largest refiner and petrochemicals maker, rose 0.3 percent to 324.35 on sustained institutional buying interest.

Other major gainers in the sector included Bajaj Auto, Hero Honda Motors, Gujarat Ambuja Cements, Grasim Industries, and Associated Cement Companies.

Source: IANS

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