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Sensex rallies as bulls renew charge

Mumbai, July 25: The bulls tightened their grip over the markets for the third successive day as encouraging first-quarter performance by leading companies continued to fuel the rally on the bourses.

The BSE 30-share sensex gained 58.39 points at 3,726.46, taking the three-day rise to 4.7 per cent. The benchmark index closed near its 26-month closing high, gaining 2.2 per cent this week, after a weak show during the previous week.

The gains came on the back of low volumes that saw traded turnover slipping to Rs 1,424.83 crore from the previous day’s volumes of Rs 1,619.18 crore.

The bourses have taken a leap following hefty foreign inflows that saw a net accretion of $ 1.17 billion between May and July 23.

Gainers continued to outpace losers 1,070 to 605. ICICI Bank’s results fuelled the rally. The bank’s net profits gained 34 per cent in the current quarter. ICICI Bank was the latest among a superb crop of results from State Bank, HDFC Bank, UTI Bank announced during the week. As a result, bank shares shone in the market. The State Bank scrip spurted by Rs 19.50 to Rs 425.80.

However, financial institution IDBI was in the limelight for another reason. Parliament decision to take the final steps towards making it a universal bank has perked up interest in the counter.

“The bulls have ensured by the big leaps in the value of the sensex that bears will think twice before selling stocks.” The sharp upward move will restrain bears from short-selling in the coming weeks,” a dealer affiliated to a mutual fund said.

Shares from the auto and auto ancillaries sectors also outperformed other sector stocks. Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, Ashok Leyland also made deep inroads into the positive territory with Tata Motors being the top gainer on the Sensex.

Cement stocks were also in flavour even as tech stocks like Satyam made belated attempts to play catch up.

ITC closed in the red after the tobacco major posted a net profit of Rs 397.22 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2003 as compared with Rs 343.92 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2002.

The ferrous metal counters also sparked interest with shares like Tisco, Sail, Jisco and Jindal Strips gaining further ground.

State Bank was the most active counter with the highest turnover of Rs 125.10 crore followed by Satyam at Rs 119.60 crore and Reliance at Rs 111.31 crore.

HLL gained Rs 3.40 to Rs 169.70 while Infosys gained Rs 44.60 to Rs 3513.20 while Satyam Computer by Rs 6.25 to Rs 193.35.

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