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Nifty matches sensex

Mumbai, Sept. 27: The tech titans joined the tango today as the sensex waltzed to a new high — and then pitched its tent for the night well above 17000.

The nifty — the bellwether of the National Stock Exchange — also broke through the 5000-barrier, serving to underscore the ebullient mood on the market.

The surge was fuelled once again by overseas funds which continued their brisk buying.

The sensex rose 229.17, or 1.4 per cent, to 17150.56, climbing to its seventh straight record. The nifty gained 60.05, or 1.2 per cent, to 5000.55.

The software giants — walloped in the past week because of the rampant rupee — clawed back some of their losses. Infosys Technologies vaulted 4.8 per cent to Rs 1,911.75, followed by Satyam Computer Services which gained 2.6 per cent to Rs 442.35.

TCS and Wipro — the other two tech giants — rose by 2 per cent and 1.3 per cent to Rs 1,061.70 and Rs 460.35 respectively as hopes grew that the recent measures taken by the Reserve Bank of India would hold down the rupee against the dollar.

The rupee weakened from a near nine-year high, falling as much as 0.5 per cent to 39.88 per dollar before trading at Rs 39.72 at the close.

Overseas investors bought a net $380 million of Indian shares on September 25, according to the latest figures provided by the Securities & Exchange Board of India.

HDFC Bank, the country’s second-largest lender, gained Rs 58.55, or 4.3 per cent, to Rs 1,433.30.

Still, the pace of gains in the BSE index is slowing. It rose 73 per cent in 2003, 13 per cent in 2004, 42 per cent in 2005, and 47 per cent in 2006. At the close on Thursday, it rose just 24.4 per cent since the start of the year. The outlook for 2008 could be marred by political uncertainty from early national elections in India and a reversal in US interest rates if inflation picks up.

Meanwhile, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, the country’s biggest maker of power equipment, became the third public sector firm to attain a market capitalisation of Rs 100,000 crore.

Bhel surged 3.87 per cent to an intra-day high of Rs 2,066 on the BSE, taking its market value to Rs 1,01,134 crore. However, the scrip pared some gains to end only 2 per cent up at Rs 2,040, resulting in a market value of Rs 99,896.35 crore.

The company is the tenth overall and the third PSU after the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and power generating firm NTPC to join the club.

The elite 10-member club is led by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries with a market capitalisation of Rs 3,23,321.74 crore.

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