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Domestic bourses beat global peers

Mumbai, Dec. 31: Stock exchanges in the country ended the year 2002 on a better wicket than their counterparts in most Asian and developed markets.

Bidding adieu to an uneventful 2002, the BSE sensex closed flat with a meagre gain of 3 points at 3377.28, while the nifty gained 1.55 points at 1093.50.

However, things were not all that bad when compared with stock exchanges the world over. The bourses gained around 115 points from December 31, 2001, while battered and bruised markets worldwide reeled under a dire trading year. The BSE sensex, which gained 3.5 per cent on the year, reversing two straight years of losses, was among the top five gainers in Asia this year, analysts tracking world indices said. On the other hand, leading indices like Hong Kong’s Hang Seng tumbled 18.2 per cent while Japan’s Nikkei surrendered a huge 18.6 per cent of its value.

“The Indian markets have wrapped up a difficult year with effortless ease,” a dealer affiliated to a leading stock brokerage said.

He said that though international developments unfolding in West Asia have cast their shadow on the markets, sentiments on the domestic bourses are positive. If the war ends quickly, the markets would navigate the crisis with ease.

Cement stocks extended gains for the second day in succession anticipating a spike in prices.

Trading volumes for the day were also higher at about 71 million shares as against 62.5 million on Monday.

In the specified group, 120 shares, including 21 index-based ones rose while 75 others closed in negative territory.

The L&T scrip rose by Rs 3.05 to Rs 213.55, Grasim was up Rs 6.20 to Rs 315.25, Tisco Rs 2.70 to Rs 151.50, Jindal Steel by Rs 13.20 to Rs 348.95, Trent by Rs 12.15 to Rs 170.15, Max India by Rs 5.85 to Rs 84.75, Ingersoll by Rs 15.90 to Rs 235, Gujarat Gas by Rs 19 to Rs 467.

However, HPCL dipped Rs 1.30 to Rs 287.95, ICICI Bank slid by Rs 2.60 to Rs 140.55 and ITC surrendered Rs 1.95 to close at Rs 660.40.

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