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Market marches to a new beat
- Reliance, ONGC turn twin propellers

Mumbai, June 21: Reliance Industries and ONGC led the sensex march to new heights today, propelling the country’s best-known barometer of stock vitality to 7076.52 at close.

The 92-point gain, which came as the index cooled off from its intra-day peak of 7083, was also attributed to a fair dose of speculation stoked by the weekend Ambani truce. The sensex has leapt 170 points in two sessions. The BSE-100 index shot up 38.45 points to 3749.38.

Among the other factors behind the share sizzle were the arrival of the monsoon and renewed FII buying. The market breadth was positive as gainers outnumbered losers on the trading floor by a wide margin. Only one sensex stock slipped for every four that advanced.

Foreign funds, which invested Rs 229.50 crore on Friday, raised the tempo of their buying in shares they believed have the potential to deliver stellar returns in future. This was their highest single-day buying since March 28.

The scramble for shares even overshadowed fears over the impact of Monday’s hike in petrol and diesel prices.

Reliance Industries remained the top draw for investors, a perch it has been holding on to for the past few days. The stock, which totted up a turnover of Rs 410.54 crore, closed at Rs 645.90 in an increase of Rs 15.50. It was followed by Reliance Capital with Rs 221.40 crore and REL with Rs 83.11 crore ' both Anil-run firms.

ONGC, too, was in the spotlight, a day after it unveiled super profits and a scrumptious 400 per cent dividend. The share closed at Rs 944.95 in a gain of Rs 23.05.

Bank shares also gained currency, a trend best reflected in the rise of the BSE bankex to 3954.44 from 3893.38.

Another stock that saw intense activity was the leading soda ash maker GHCL. It witnessed two block deals on Dalal Street and National Stock Exchange. Carissa Investments Ltd, believed to be a Dalmia group company, bought 81 lakh shares at a price of Rs 51.15 apiece.

Among software shares, Hexaware, i-flex, HCL Tech and Infosys were among the day’s best performers today.

The volume of business on Dalal Street swelled to Rs 2702.57 crore. In the BSE’s specified group, 120 shares, including 24 from the sensex, clocked sharp to moderate gains; 73 finished with losses. State Bank jumped Rs 8.95 to Rs 665.50, Tata Steel by Rs 8.85 to Rs 357.25, Grasim by Rs 10.05 to Rs 1097.85, HDFC Bank by Rs 3.55 to Rs 601, Hindalco by Rs 6.55 to 1192.20 and ICICI Bank by Rs 13.35 to Rs 418.45.

Other gainers were ITC, which rose by Rs 8.10 to Rs 1546.10, Maruti Udyog by Rs 11.40 to Rs 453.75, Satyam Computers by Rs 3.65 to Rs 507.15 and Tata Motors by Rs 4.30 to 418.45. Among losers, Reliance Energy, Bhel, Bajaj Auto, HDFC and ACC were the most prominent stocks.

Rupee steady

The rupee ended at 43.57 against the dollar, a one paisa gain over Monday’s close of 43.58 and a sharp recovery from early lows of 43.63. It opened weak at 43.62.

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