Key Indian equity index ends at nine-month high
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Key Indian equity index ends at nine-month high

Wednesday, 17 November 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: A key Indian share market index ended above the sentiment-boosting 6,000-point mark Wednesday to reach its highest level in nine months on account of all-round buying interest triggered by inflows from foreign funds.

The sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) - which had been breaching the 6,000-point mark during the past few sessions but closing a tad lower - managed to stay above the psychologically important level Wednesday.

Analysts, however, were apprehensive about the prospect of a further rise in the barometer index, saying most stocks that comprise the 30-share Sensex appeared overbought and overpriced at the current level.

"The long-term story for the Indian equities market remains positive and strong. But in the short-to-medium term, the interest will be on individual stocks and much less on the overall picture," said an analyst with a brokerage here.

"Some heavyweights may continue to perform well because of their strong results and prospects for growth. But it is the mid-cap counter that one would have to watch out for to make some returns in the medium term," he added.

The Sensex opened comfortably above the 6,000-point mark Wednesday at 6,000.11 points and momentarily dropped to the day's low of 5,997.74. After reaching an intra-day day's high of 6,036.60 points, it finally settled at 6,016.58 points.

At the closing level, the bellwether index was 19.88 points, or 0.33 percent higher than Tuesday's close at 5,996.70 points. Sixteen stocks that comprise the 30-share Sensex registered declines, while 14 others ended higher.

Banking stocks were in the limelight, and the BSE's index for such stocks, Bankex, ended 3.39 percent higher. Public sector stocks also outperformed the market, with the specific index for the counter ending 1.12 percent higher.

ICICI Bank led the gainers, up 4.8 percent at 334.95, followed by Hero Honda, up 2.51 percent higher at 451.85, Hindustan Petroleum, up 1.93 percent at 361.45 and Zee Telefilms, up 1.91 percent at 155.

Cipla led the losers, down 2.28 percent at 271.70, followed by Ranbaxy Laboratories, down 2.27 percent at 1,049.20, Larsen and Toubro, down 1.33 percent at 846.45 and ITC Ltd., down 1.11 percent at 1,135.55.

Source: IANS
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