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Markets toast heady scorecards

Mumbai, July 24: A late-session flourish, inspired by the slew of handsome corporate report cards, sent the BSE sensex soaring 90 points in a surge billed as one of the most breath-taking claw-backs in recent times.

As India Inc flashed one gleaming scorecard after the other, the markets decided it finally had a lot to cheer. Everything, a generous monsoon and a hard rupee, appeared to be pointing to a renewed FII charge.

By the time it winded to its close at 3668.07, Dalal Street’s barometer of stock vitality was healthier by 90.18 points; the NSE’s nifty also ended 20.40 points higher.

What was remarkable was the depth of the rally: 1101 gainers stacked up against 755 losers in a see-saw session.

Fund managers put down the market euphoria to a combination of factors. “We cannot be happier than now,” one of them, who manages several index funds, said. Others oozed confidence. “People expect a lot of money to flow in from foreign investors,” said Richard D’souza, an analyst with Sunidhi Consultancy Services.

The quickness of the rebound — much of the sensex spurt was packed into the last half-hour — took many by surprise. That was reflected in BSE’s volumes, which rose to Rs 1619.18 crore from Rs 1422.69 crore on Wednesday.

Analysts say heavyweights like Reliance and Lever were the driving forces of the rapid-fire rebound. Reliance rose Rs 15.10 at Rs 345.05, while the FMCG major gained Rs 7.35 at Rs 166.30. Most of the gains in these shares were clocked 25 minutes before close, dealers said.

The turnover titan this afternoon was Zee Telefilms with a tally of Rs 208.43 crore. Fuelling the binge were reports of two block deals of 50 lakh shares each by its promoters.

“There is liquidity in the markets. The micro and macro-economic factors have never looked better than they do now,” an analyst affiliated to a FII brokerage said.

Among the companies that boosted sentiment with smart first-quarter numbers were Satyam, Great Eastern Shipping, State Bank of India, ACC and Ranbaxy.

The chain of results revived interest in all firms of an industry. Bank stocks, for instance, rallied as SBI results warmed cockles. ACC results triggered fresh buying in several cement shares. Buying interest was also seen in several PSU shares, including those of oil and gas.

Bharti Tele, MTNL and VSNL also notched up good gains as the markets felt the planned uniform licensing system could benefit major players in telecom. FMCG and steel shares were among the day’s best performers, but auto shares ended the session subdued.

Gold rush

Gold prices shot up today on the back of a firm trend overseas. The going rate in the international market was $ 359, an increase from $ 352.40 the previous day. The yellow metal shot up by Rs.115 to Rs.5545 per 10 grams in Chennai, by Rs 105 to Rs 5580 in Calcutta, by Rs 100 to Rs 5480 in Delhi and by Rs 85 to Rs 5485 in Mumbai.

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