Indian markets down on profit taking

Friday, 12 November 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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Mumbai, Nov 11 (IANS) After testing the 6,000-point mark during early hours of trade Thursday, a key market index for Indian equities lost marginal ground at close as investors clamoured to book profits.

The underlying sentiments, however, remained positive as investors looked forward to the traditional Diwali token trading session Friday evening to seek the blessings of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.

Te Bombay Stock Exchange has fixed the timing for the special session, called Muhurat, from 5:10 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., while the goddess of wealth will be invoked with prayers at 4:30 p.m. at the stock exchange building here.

As trading began Thursday, the sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) opened higher at 5,980.03 points, compared with the previous day's close at 5,973.75.

Soon after, the barometer index moved up to the day's high of 5,995.33 points, just short of the psychologically important mark of 6,000 points.

But profit taking thereafter resulted in the index dipping to an intra-day low of 5,943.33 points and finally end the day at 5,954.31 points. At this level, the index was down 19.44 points or 0.33 percent over the previous day's close.

The losers and the gainers among the Sensex stocks were evenly matched at 15 stocks each, though the traded value of stocks that saw their prices rise was 33 percent more than those that lost ground.

"After yesterday's (Wednesday) gains, investors were basically interested in squaring up their deals and booking profits," an analyst with an equities research firm said.

"The caution sounded by the market regulator also kept sentiments under check," he added.

As the Sensitive index tested the 6,000-point mark, G.N. Bajpai, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India asked investors Wednesday to call wisely, adding that the regulator was closely monitoring the developments.

During Thursday's trade, the top gainer among the Sensex stocks was private sector energy major Tata Power, which rose 2.53 percent at 322.10, followed by home-grown drug company Cipla, up 1.35 percent at 277.85.

Media giant Zee Telefilms was next, up 1.32 percent at 153.15, followed by automaker Maruti Udyog, up 0.95 percent at 381.25, Bharti Televentures, up 0.74 percent at 164.05 and Reliance Energy, up 0.66 percent at 637.25.

Two-wheeler giant Hero Honda led the losers, dipping 1.77 percent at 434.55, followed by HDFC Bank, down 1.54 percent at 466.90, Oil and Natural Gas Corp, down 1.30 percent at 815.

Software majors Infosys Technologies and Satyam computers were next, losing 1.13 percent each at 2,016.70 and 402.40, respectively, followed by fast moving consumer giant Hindustan Lever, down 1.03 percent at 134.40.

Source: IANS
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