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Market shivers on last-round jitters

Mumbai, May 7: The stock markets swung between apprehension and anticipation today as last-minute poll jitters sent the sensex swooning 87.62 points.

The market is waiting for the weekend with nervous anticipation — afraid that the last round of opinion polls and the exit poll on May 10 will throw up some nasty surprises.

“When in doubt, you just sell,” says Navin Roy, a dealer at Taib Securities, a prominent FII brokerage.

The overall trend was bearish as the market turned negative. Of the 1,948 scrips traded on the Bombay Stock Exchange today, declines outnumbered advances with 1,053 gainers and 799 losers. Nothing less than 96 issues ended unchanged and the turnover dropped drastically to Rs 1,938.13 crore against Thursday’s Rs 2,181.05 crore.

“We are frightened of the confusion in the coming week,” said Arun Kejriwal of Kejriwal Research and Investment Services.

The last phase of elections is by far the biggest in which 181 constituencies will vote. Fears of inflation and interest rate hike also dampened sentiments as global oil prices hit 13-year highs.

The market conditions were in stark contrast to the bullish moves made by heavyweights on Thursday when the sensex gained 71.11 points on Thursday.

The BSE-30 share sensitive index opened lower at 5748.34 against Thursday’s close of 5757.30 and continued its downslide to touch a low of 5645.79 before recovering modestly to close at 5669.58, a steep fall of 1.52 per cent.

The broad-based BSE-100 also dipped 42.15 points to end at 3040.43 against its previous close of 3082.58.

Among the heavyweights, Bharti Tele-Ventures lost 4.10 per cent of its value to Rs 167.25, even as the share attracted heavy trading. It came off its high of Rs 174.50 as reports trickled in that the GSM telephony market reported an accretion of only one million new subscribers in the month of April against 1.5 million in March 2004.

Reports of a Danish institutional investor acquiring a sizeable quantity in another FII fund (presumably Fidelity) also did the rounds.

Scores of other blue chip heavyweights, including State Bank, ITC, Reliance Industries and HLL, closed in the red.

Sugar stocks reacted on selling pressure as scores of sugar companies lost on the back of profit booking. Among the notable scrips that bucked the trend were Raymond, which was up 1.32 per cent to Rs 202.85 on the back of an impressive performance in 2003-04.

Datamatics debut

Datamatics Technologies made a sparkling debut today and bucked the general trend by ramping up rich gains for its shareholders.

The non-voice business process outsourcing firm opened the day when the markets were in a bearish grip. A whopping 40 lakh shares were traded on the BSE.

The Datamatics share opened at Rs 184.90 against the issue price of Rs 110 (Rs 5 paid up) and moved in a range of Rs 210 and Rs 159.00, before closing at 184.90, a smart gain of 68.09 per cent.

The Datamatics offering was oversubscribed 27.2 times and the company raised Rs 113 crore last month.

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