Mumbai, May 12: Markets went on anxious wait for a Thursday thriller, the sensex settling into a 32-point gain with some help from bargain-hunters scrounging for picks.
The calm undertone this morning was in contrast to Tuesday’s meltdown, when Dalal Street tested its lowest level for four years and investors shaken by the Andhra ballot blizzard scurried out of shares into safe-haven options.
Brokers said even foreign institutional investors (FIIs), who have dumped stocks worth millions of dollars since last week, were in the market for cheap buys.
Their sales were pegged at Rs 600 crore on Monday and Rs 404 crore on Tuesday — a staggering Rs 1000 crore in the space of two days. “This is one of the main reasons for the markets to get the aftershocks,” they added.
This morning, the 30-share sensex opened at 5296.25, scaled a high of 5387.87 before ending at 5358.35 against its previous close of 5325.90, a rise of 32.45 points.
The country’s best-known measure of stock vitality wilted 343 points in the two sessions to Tuesday. The slide has been blamed on exit poll predictions after the last phase of the Lok Sabha polls on Monday and TDP’s rout in the Andhra Pradesh assembly elections the next day.
Mirroring fears of political instability, the markets went through a roller coaster ride early today, but operators came to grips with the poll outcome in the second half.
On Thursday, the course of stock indices will be set by dealers whose eyes will be glued to television screens, rather trading screens. By the second half, when trends on the shape of the new government become clear, the market will calibrate its response to reality.
Until today, the undertone was cautious. If the fears of a weak, reform-wary coalition come true, the BSE sensex could even plumb the bottom of 5000 levels.
Reliance, Wipro, Infosys Technologies, ACC, Bajaj Auto, Bhel, Cipla, L&T, MTNL and ONGC were among the shares that helped the sensex close in positive territory. Grasim, HDFC, HDFC Bank, HPCL, Hindalco, ITC and Reliance Energy saw their stocks finish with moderate losses.
The volume of business on BSE was Rs 2082.54 crore, down from Rs 2200.63 crore on Tuesday. Tisco was the top-traded share with a turnover of Rs 222.19 crore. It was followed by State Bank of India at Rs 207.51 crore. In the specified group of the BSE, 124 stocks, including 22 from the main index, gained; 73 ended as losers.