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Shares at 44-month peak

Mumbai, Dec. 9: The stock market bounced back with a vengeance and ended with impressive gains lifting the sensex by 98 points on sustained purchases by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) as well as domestic mutual funds. The sensex closed at 5,229.34 points, its highest close in 44 months since April 13, 2000.

The mood elsewhere was equally ebullient with the New York Stock Exchange’s Dow having crossed the magic five-figure mark of 10000 in early morning trades.

Market analysts expect the feel-good sentiments to rub off on the local stock exchanges tomorrow.

Trading was heavy at 22.4 crore shares compared with 16.8 crore shares on Monday as gainers outpaced losers by 5:1.

FIIs that have stepped up activity, making hefty net investments of Rs 1,523 crore in the last week, reportedly were selective buyers since Monday. They pulled out Rs 46.60 crore on Monday against Rs 221.50 crore on Friday last.

However, the market is fife with expectations that foreigners would continue to put money in the Indian markets.

Among the gainers today were Reliance Industries, ITC and Infosys Technologies, which helped the main barometer to gain impressively.

Tech stocks were on a roll on reports of investors in global markets picking up American depository receipts (ADRs) of Indian companies at a significant premium. Infosys Technologies gained 1.4 per cent to Rs 4,975.85.

In the specified group, 163 including 28 index-based scrips registered sharp to moderate gains, while 31 others closed with losses.

The volume of business was slightly up at Rs 2,080.78 crore compared with Rs 2,078.22 crore yesterday.

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