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Bulls rise from slumber
- Sensex notches up highest single-day gain this year

Mumbai, June 17: Stocks sparkled today in a surge that propelled Dalal Street to its highest point in 52 weeks as the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) sensitive index racked up its highest single-day gain, 94 points, this year.

The way shares were scooped up led many operators to believe the enduring rally they had been looking for might have arrived. The buzz was that bulls have come out of the woodwork to give the market the momentum it needs for a long winning spell.

Today’s surge took the sensex above the 3400-threshold, to 3431.03 points. It has clawed back 17 per cent in over seven weeks from the six-month low it plumbed in April; it is up 1.6 per cent in this calendar year.

Setting the tone for the surge were the south-east Asian markets, which finished higher. Japan’s Nikkei raced 193.17 points, the Singapore ST index rose 28.53 points and the Hang Seng leapt 168.09 points. Monday’s gains on Wall Street, fired by recovery hopes, also helped.

The strongest driver has been the sustained buying by foreign funds, which pumped in a whopping Rs 5,463 crore last month; the buying binge continued in the first two weeks of June, with Rs 1017 crore sloshed around. Sentiment has also been perked up by reports that the government’s disinvestment programme is taking off.

“The sensex fell short of a century, much like Tendulkar’s dream performances sometimes end in the 90s,” Arun Kejriwal of KRIS Securities said.

The rally was so impressive in its breadth that it swept key shares like Reliance Industries, Infosys, Grasim, Bajaj Auto, Dr Reddy's, HDFC, Hindalco, L&T, Ranbaxy, Telco and some others to their one-year peaks.

“The feel-good sentiment is all-pervasive and we hope the euphoria will continue even after Maruti’s IPO,” a fund manager at a leading mutual fund said. Jignesh Shah, a strategist at ASK Raymond James, said the sentiment has been boosted by foreign and local buying.

Early signs of a bull-run lay in the BSE’s trading volume, which surged to Rs 1331.33 crore from Rs 962.60 crore on Monday. Reliance remained the top-traded share with a turnover of Rs 126.33 crore. In the BSE’s A group, 28 index-based counters registered sharp gains while 28 closed with modest losses.

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