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Pre-Diwali festivity on bourses

Mumbai, Oct. 13: The sensex rappelled up to a lifetime high of 12756.23 today on the back of strong global cues, big-ticket buying by foreign institutional investors, a steady stream of robust economic and corporate numbers and sliding crude prices.

But as Samvat 2062 battens down its hatches before the close of an eventful year, the market cognoscenti are predicting an ebullient shower of sparks this Diwali.

Signs of this were evident on Friday when the 30-share sensitive index opened at 12632.62, up 95 points from yesterday’s close of 12537.98. It surged 198.44 points or 1.58 per cent to an all-time closing high of 12736.42.

The previous all-time high was 12671.11 on May 11.

The market veterans say they haven’t seen such a strong bull run before Diwali — a typical feature in the days of yore — for a long, long time.

“Though the market had scaled a high in September 1997, it never peaked before Diwali,” says V.K. Sharma of Anagram Stock Broking.

Reliance Industries, which became the most valuable company yesterday, struck an all-time high of Rs 1,195.95, beating the previous high of Rs 1,195, hit in early-May 2006. It closed at Rs 1,190.15, up 1.77 per cent amidst a volume of 17.54 lakh shares on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

HDFC Bank also hit an all-time high of Rs 996.90 during today’s session. It closed at Rs 988.70, up 3.11 per cent.

The bull run was fuelled by continuous inflow from FIIs, which pumped in a net investment of over Rs 1,300 crore in the last two days.

Finance minister P. Chidambaram, who said the market movement was orderly, attributed the surge to expectations of robust second quarter earnings and falling oil prices, besides a belated reaction to Infosys’s good show.

“While the FIIs realise that the Indian markets are not cheap, they understand that they will have to pay a premium for the strong growth posted by the Indian companies,” said Avinash Gorakshakar, head of research, Emkay Share and Stock Brokers.

While bluechips, particularly the IT and technology stocks, maintained their bull run, small and mid-cap stocks were under-performers by a high margin.

The BSE’s mid-cap and small-cap indices both ended 0.3 per cent firmer although still down 13 to 18 per cent from their May 11 highs. The 50-share Nifty ended 1.5 per cent higher at 3,676.05.

The advance-declines ratio was also skewed with 1,444 scrips registering losses and only 1,083 scrips gaining.

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