The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Budget build-up begins

Mumbai, June 28: Hopes of an investor-friendly budget sent a frission of excitement through bourses as bargain hunters propelled the BSE sensex 81 points to a position where the leap past 5000 could come in days.

So is the pre-budget rally finally under way' That’s the question many are trying to answer just eight days before wraps come off the government’s first big policy opus.

“I hope this is a pre-budget rally. But it should also have all the ingredients of one,” says Arun Kejriwal of Kejriwal Research and Investment Services. The doubts arose from the breadth — too few investors —and volumes that have become a pale shadow of the past.

Operators say the rally was fuelled by expectations of a budget that gives investors a shot in the arm, and also due to improving India-Pakistan relations.

Topping up the two factors were signals of a surge in Chinese demand for metal imports from India. This has given operators hope the sensex could bounce back to 5000 even before the budget is sewn up.

The rally this afternoon was driven by an across-the-board buying in technology, metals and pharmaceutical stocks. Three straight days of gains have pushed up the sensex almost 200 points, giving many the long-needed confirmation that the markets were crawling out of the woods.

Among the gainers were Wipro, Cipla, Tata Steel and Satyam Computer. Even shares of PSUs such as MTNL ended higher. Cement shares like ACC firmed up, as did heavyweights like Reliance Industries and ITC.

The sensex opened higher at 4784.58 and gradually moved up to an intra-day high of 4844.72 before ending at 4837.60 against Friday’s finish of 4756.39.

Dealers say operators have returned to the market, as have some companies in search of good stock deals. FIIs, too, have seen reshuffling their portfolios ahead of the budget.

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