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Sensex near 5000-mark again

Mumbai, Oct. 31: If the scorecards glow, so will the markets. At least Dalal Street was in raptures over the slew of handsome results from companies today, sending the benchmark sensex past the 4900-mark. It had scaled this peak twelve days back, when it hit 4930.

At 126 points, it was the one of the sharpest gains in recent months, fuelled also by the smooth rollover of the October derivatives settlement on Thursday. There were fears of problems in squaring up deals in this segment.

“The quarterly performance has been in line with expectations and, in some cases, better,” said Karthik Ramkrishnan, an analyst at Sunidhi Consultancy Services.

Arun Kejriwal of Kejriwal Research & Investment Services saw a confluence of factors behind the spike, one of which was the record inflow of $ 1.5 billion this month — an upsurge of the kind local markets have never seen. “Let’s face it, with this kind of money flowing in, they can’t quit tomorrow. They are here for the long term.”

The numbers cast a spell as well. “Look at the great body language of some of the corporate captains. I’ve never seen anything like this before,” said an analyst, who returned from Tata Steel’s post-results conference on Thursday with memories of an upbeat B. Muthuraman, the managing director of the steel major. Investors relished its best-ever profit, and the projection of rosier figures in the second half of the year.

Hero Honda and ICICI Bank were at the forefront of the rally. The former raced on reports it sold over two lakh bikes this month; the latter vaulted on the back of its results.

Dealers said the brisk buying since Tuesday has intensified after the expiry of the October contracts on Thursday. However, the driving forces were still foreign institutional investors and domestic funds, which returned to buy mode after a sizzling second-quarter show.

The 30-share index opened higher at 4787.05 and hit a high of 4913.18 before closing at 4906.87, showing a whopping 2.64 per cent jump over Thursday’s close of 4780.52. Tata Steel was the turnover topper with a tally of Rs 201.99 crore, followed by Satyam, Maruti and State Bank.

The volume of BSE’s business, however, declined to Rs 2421.33 crore from the previous session’s Rs 2596.77 crore. Reliance closed at Rs 486.30, ACC at Rs 214.20, Bajaj Auto at Rs 915.25, BSES at Rs 477.70, Hero Honda at Rs 353.45 and ITC at Rs 868.70.

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