The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bourses beat bandh

Mumbai, July 30: Dalal Street held on to its gains in a protest-punctuated session that ended with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) sensex creeping up 16 points. The 30-share index rested at 3780.42 points on a day when a strike called to protest Monday’s bus blast left the country’s financial capital gasping and business crippled.

A pack of protestors from the Shiv Sena, one of the two parties besides the BJP to have called the strike, stormed Jeejebhoy Towers in the dying hours of trading in an effort to stop what was then a bull-driven rally.

The activists retreated after BSE executive director Manoj Vaish met them. Trading activity was not affected, but security was beefed up and entry to the bourse restricted.

“Modern technology enables us to sit anywhere and trade,” said Arun Kejriwal of Kejriwal Research and Investment Services when he was asked to explain how BSE clocked a turnover of Rs 1,400 crore. He inferred that most deals were non-institutional, as offices of custodians were closed for the day.

Today, it was cement shares that held sway. ACC gained Rs 11 at Rs 199 and Grasim Rs 22 at Rs 523; Gujarat Ambuja and L&T also closed on a strong note. Bajaj jumped Rs 22.80 to Rs 600. Hero Honda and Telco also zoomed. ITC lost Rs 11 at Rs 724, while Lever shed Rs 2 at Rs 168.

Eyes are glued to the cloudburst of key results. Among them will be Lever, whose half-yearly results are due, and Reliance Industries, which will reel out its first-quarter numbers.

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