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Nerves taut in last climb to peak 4000

Mumbai, Aug. 13: Nerves are tingling on Dalal Street, this time with excitement, ahead of the sensex’s march to 4000 points, a familiar perch until the 2001 March mayhem made it a pale shadow of itself.

Hopes that it would be propelled into the orbit were boosted today when the index swung past 3900 with ease and made the final ascent appear increasingly close.

“All the negatives in the markets have been discounted,” said a senior official of DSP Merrill Lynch. He was referring to political uncertainty over the impending polls in five states, general elections that will follow it and the prickly issue of disinvestment. “The excellent performance of several companies, coupled with good monsoons, will overwhelm the political jitters expected in the months ahead,” he added.

Upbeat DSP Merill Lynch officials said they see the sensex cruising to 5000 this time next year. But that remains a prediction for the long term. At the moment though, all eyes are riveted on the 4000-mark. Most say it could happen within days, even if there are a few hiccups.

The sensex, having struggled to get to 3900, cavorted higher this afternoon with little resistance as operators and institutions stepped up purchases. In their shopping bags were cement, steel and PSU shares.

The 30-share index opened at 3910.86 and gradually moved up to its intra-day high of 3935.80 before ending at 3926.07 in an increase of 36.66 points, or 0.94 per cent. BSE 100 shot up 23.86 points to 2043.28 from 2019.42.

Cement stocks carried the day. ACC gained Rs 6.95 at Rs 209.05, Grasim Rs 15.85 at Rs 594.45, Gujarat Ambuja Rs 6.30 at Rs 235.20 and Larsen &Toubro Rs 4.15 at Rs 273.20.

Steel shares also firmed up with Tata Steel jumping Rs 3.80 to Rs 240.25 and Jindal Steel rising Rs 87.95 to Rs 695.75. Hindustan Petroleum’s was one of the PSU shares on a roll, increasing by Rs 14.50 to close at Rs 362.80.

HLL, Reliance, SBI, Tata Motor, Satyam and Infosys were the other big draws. The losers included Bajaj Auto, Bhel, Glaxo, HDFC and Nestle.

Operators say there will be no stopping the sensex once it hits 4000, a level seen as one that heralds a full-blown bull phase. However, analysts say the spikes could go hand in hand with disturbingly sharp falls.

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