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Dream run for new-look sensex

Mumbai, Sept. 1: Dalal Street scaled a 31-month peak on a day the free-float sensex wound up with a 80-point gain.

The surge, which took the 30-share index to 4324, was more remarkable in a market where local institutions have swarmed sell counters in droves to make a killing. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) took off from where players at home left to give the markets momentum.

The 30-share index peaked at 4329.57 before ending at 4324.76 against Friday’s close of 4244.73, netting a sharp rise of 80.03 points or 1.89 per cent; the BSE-100 index jumped 53.75 points to 2283.00 from 2229.25 on Friday.

The fifth day of rise in the sensex, which will now assign weightage based on the number of shares available for trading minus the promoters’ stake, came as Sebi figures showed FIIs pumped in Rs 14,000 crore in 2002-03.

Riding on the crest of the rally were operators who have propelled penny (small-cap illiquid) stocks to historic highs. “There is a danger in this to small investors,” say brokers worried about the runaway rise.

After infotech waded into the surge last week, textile firms hot-footed into the rally this morning.

HPCL, whose privatisation plan has run into a welter of lawsuits and protests by wary employees, struck a discordant note on the back of a huge sell-off in the counter as the Supreme Court adjourned till Friday the hearing on a petition contesting the oil selloff.

What worried many was the drop in BSE’s turnover to Rs 1841.43 crore from Friday’s Rs 2388.43 crore.

At the top of the charts was HPCL with a turnover of Rs 130.23 crore, followed by Reliance (Rs 107.13 crore), Tata Steel (Rs 89.11 crore), Satyam Computer (Rs 82.64 crore) and Infosys Technologies (Rs 64.18 crore).

Reliance was the toast of the day, spiralling Rs 13.60 to Rs 412.15. Lever jumped by Rs 5.05 to Rs 189.55 and helped the new-look sensex to gain for the successive day.

The number of shares that advanced on BSE outnumbered those that retreated in a ratio of 1,062:739. In all, 19.6 crore shares changed hands in the session.

Drug booster

As medicine makers pored over the fine-print of the landmark drug deal reached by World Trade Organization (WTO) over the weekend, the markets were already giving these companies are fine bill of health.

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