India's key market index rallies on buying in tech shares

Thursday, 27 November 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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MUMBAI: India's blue-chip share market index finished with nearly two percent gains Thursday following large-scale buying in technology stocks by domestic investors and select foreign institutional investors.

Reflecting the bullish market sentiment, the stock market barometer 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange sensitive index or Sensex closed at 4,989.04, representing a gain of 94.45 points or 1.93 percent over its previous session's close.

Dealers said that the market opened firm and staged smart rally in the early trade with investors rushing to pick up shares of heavyweight technology companies on hopes of a turnaround in the U.S. economy.

The market index remained firm for the better part of the trading session and it finally ended by touching a two-week closing high and extending the rally to the second consecutive session.

The market had ended 1.5 percent higher Tuesday after nuclear rivals India and Pakistan agreed to observe a ceasefire along their troubled border in Jammu and Kashmir from midnight Tuesday.

Indian financial markets were closed Wednesday for Eid.

"The rally was powered mainly by renewed institutional buying in technology shares that had been lying low in recent trade," said a fund manager with a foreign brokerage firm.

"The rally was triggered by hopes that a pickup in the U.S. economy would result in increased outsourcing of large-scale technology jobs to Indian companies," the fund manager added.

According to latest data issued by U.S. agencies, the world's largest economy expanded 8.2 percent in the third quarter, raising hopes that a nimble-footed economic recovery would increase company spending on technology projects.

U.S. is the prime software export destination for India, accounting for nearly 70 percent of Indian software makers' total exports.

In the tech sector, Wipro, the country's largest software company by market value, ended nearly five percent higher at 1,520.30 on fresh institutional buying at lower levels.

Infosys Technologies, India's largest listed software exporter, rose 4.1 percent to 4,927.80 and Hyderabad-based Satyam Computer closed with a gain of 1.2 percent at 327.20 following overnight gains in the U.S. markets.

In the old economy sector, Cipla gained 5.9 percent to touch 1,198.70 and Ranbaxy Laboratories, India's largest drug maker, closed with a gain of 2.8 percent at 1,036.

Other major gainers in the sector included Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, HDFC, State Bank of India, Reliance Industries, ITC, ICICI Bank, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Gujarat Ambuja Cements, and Bajaj Auto.

Source: IANS
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