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Old economy stocks hold fort

Mumbai, Nov. 18: Old-economy shares rallied smartly for the third straight day today on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), helping the sensex to close at a nearly one-month high at 3057.16 and show a gain of 23.25 points over the previous close.

The old-economy group was led by FMCG giant, Hindustan Lever that rallied by more than 3 per cent to finish at Rs 163.18. Giving Lever company was cigarette manufacturer ITC and petrochemical giant RIL, both of which climbed more than a per cent each. All these stocks have a weightage of more than 35 per cent on the BSE sensex.

Brokers attributed the buying in these stocks on hopes of enhanced foreign portfolio participation even as technology shares fell prey to profit booking. They added that in today’s trading, moderate gains were also observed in other scrips like State Bank, Tisco, Grasim, HPCL, MTNL and ICICI Bank.

The BSE index opened firm at 3046.90 and after touching a low of 3041.34, sprung to a high of 3071.28 before finishing at 3057.16 as against last Friday’s close of 3033.91, a rise of 0.77 per cent. The sensex has thus gained by more than 3 per cent over the past three trading sessions. Figures state that the FIIs were net buyers to the tune of Rs 107 crore for the first four days of last week. The IT stocks that fell to profit booking included Infosys that shed more than 2 per cent and Wipro which fell by more than 3 per cent to Rs 1,549.95.

Strike cold-feet

The threat of a strike on bourses across the country has receded as brokers at NSE and BSE failed to decide whether to join their striking counterparts at Lyons Range on the second day today. Meanwhile, the broker directors of CSE today asked the management sub-committee to decide the future course of action after Sebi rejected waiver of interest on turnover tax.

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