The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Selloff stirrings set shares soaring

Mumbai, Oct. 3: Shares surged to a new three-year high today in a rally that was fuelled by buying in shares of state-owned firms ahead of the key Cabinet meeting that decided to find ways to carve up Indian Oil.

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) sensex raced 97.84 points, or 2.20 per cent, to close at 4552.92 — a three-year high. Engineers India, Nalco and Balmer Lawrie were scooped up on expectations that their divestment will be pursued by the government despite the Supreme Court order halting the sale of HPCL and BPCL.

Engineers India jumped 10.50 per cent to Rs 342.50, Nalco jumped more than 4 per cent to Rs 126.55 and Balmer Lawrie rose more than 4.40 per cent to Rs 100.20.

Shipping Corporation of India’s (SCI) attractive pay-out fired speculation among dealers that the oil majors would go down the same road in the days to come.

The 30-share index opened 4465.44 against its previous close of 4455.08, rallied to a high of 4556.89 and closed at 4552.92 — a spurt of 97.84 points over its last finish.

Brokers said Dr Reddy’s, Reliance, Hero Honda, Larsen & Toubro, Ranbaxy, State Bank of India and Telco were among the other big draws in today’s session.

BSE’s turnover at Rs 2359.16 crore was higher than Rs 2090.51 crore on Thursday. Satyam Computer was the chart-topper with a volume of Rs 188.97 crore, followed by Infosys (Rs 143.95 crore), Digital Global (Rs 130.75 crore), Reliance (Rs 124.71 crore) and Tisco (Rs 121.37 crore).

Auto stocks also raced, buoyed by reports of good sales numbers. M&M and Hero Honda closed with good gains.

The recent surge in the stock market has been attributed to huge investments by foreign instituitonal investors (FIIs), which have pumped in over $855 million into shares this month alone. The trend is expected to intensify on the back of robust second-quarter results expected to be announced from this month. Net investments by FIIs in the equity market between April and September have touched Rs 12,761 crore.

Given the overall optimism about India Inc’s performance, market operators are of the opinion that the sensex should soon be soaring past the 5000-threshold.

In today’s trading, apart from PSU, pharma and auto shares, few of the other gainers included MRF, Voltas, Zee Telefilms, Ashok leyland and Century Textiles among others even as technology stocks took a backseat.

Cement was another sector that witnessed buying following reports of higher despatches for the month of September. While L&T rose by close to 6 per cent to Rs 339.85 , ACC rose by over 3 per cent to Rs 206.75 and Gujarat Ambuja Cement Ltd, also showed a firm trend to close at Rs 232.55.

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