The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Profit-taking sends sensex below 5000

Mumbai, Nov. 7: Profit-hunters swooped on markets today, driving down the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) sensex below the 5000-mark, just four days after it scaled that peak and gave the bull-run a new charge.

Lingering fears over the revised set of margins to come into effect from Monday also weighed down operators. “Some positional unwinding in the derivatives segment cast its spell in the cash market. What Sebi is doing is to contain volatility,” a dealer said.

Mid-cap stocks that have stayed behind so far drew the attention of investors as they looked for bargain picks.

The 30-share BSE sensex closed at 4,971.57 points, down 75.97 points from the previous close. It has lost about 2.5 per cent in the past three sessions.

Asked whether the market will slide further in the coming days, bullish players refused to be cowed down. "We are not very far away from the 5000-mark,” Arun Kejriwal of Kejriwal Research and Investment Services said.

Market volumes have been good with gainers at 1,015 and losers at 651. The traded volume of shares stood at 17.8 crore compared with Thursday's 19.5 crore.

Foreign investments have been good this week. Foreign funds have pumped in $4.9 billion into Indian equities in 2003, the highest annual accretion since portfolio investments were opened to foreigners a decade ago.

There are some speculations that these inflows may be slowing down. Some traders fear the liquidity-driven rally could lose momentum if inflows taper off.

Among the major losers in today's trading were Reliance Industries and Tata Motors.

Siemens, however, spurted by 6 per cent to Rs 618.65 as its quarterly performance exceeded Dalal Street expectations.

The broader National Stock Exchange mirrored the sentiments in BSE with its 50-share index closing at 1,592.05 points, down 20.15 from previous day’s close.

Rupee hardens

The rupee strode to a nearly one-month high against the dollar today, driven-up by robust export and portfolio dollar supplies in fairly active trade at the interbank foreign exchange (forex) market.

The domestic unit ended at Rs 45.26/27 per dollar, a sharp four paise gain from Thursday’s finish of Rs 45.30/31 after rallying from early intraday lows of Rs 45.31/32.

It opened relatively weak at Rs 45.31/32 per dollar, reflecting the dollar’s overseas rebound against major global currencies, prompted by a brighter picture of the US economic recovery.

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