The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Friday feast: Sensex atop new peak

Mumbai, March 4: The sensex crossed yet another milestone today, gaining 65 points to close at a record high of 6849.48.

Foreign funds, which have pumped more than Rs 9,000 crore into the markets this year, continued to be loyal. They have bought shares worth Rs 1579.50 crore in the last three days.

Analysts aver that a fresh impetus in core sectors like ports, airports, power and roads will ensure a steady torrent of money into the markets.

Early today, frenzied demand spread across the board with the benchmark index quickly piercing the crucial 6800-mark. It then cruised past the 6850-barrier to a new peak of 6864.62 in afternoon deals, before closing at 6849.48, a rise of 64.76 points or 0.95 per cent.

A positive budget and strong corporate fundamentals were the driving forces behind the buoyancy with operators confident and upbeat on the sensex reaching the 7000-level by next week if the current trend persists.

Operators and domestic institutions also bought heavily after finance minister P. Chidambaram's statement that genuine business expenditures would not be brought under the fringe benefit tax proposed in the budget, a broker said.

The broad-based BSE-100 rallied 30.94 points to 3688.14 from the previous close of 3657.20.

The volume of business was up at Rs 3115.58 crore against 2626.83 crore yesterday. Reliance Industries remained the top traded scrip with the highest turnover of Rs 183.08 crore, followed by SBI (Rs 113.40 crore).

Analysts, however, say much of the FII money is coming from block deals. Wednesday's FII inflow was contributed by a massive block deal of Rs 744 crore in ONGC, they said. A unit of Reliance Infocomm offloaded the shares to a clutch of FIIs.

Brokers added that existing and newly-registered FIIs who preferred to be on the sidelines are buying now.

Several index heavyweights like RIL, HDFC, ITC, Hindalco, Bajaj Auto, Infosys, Reliance Energy, Tata Motors, Zee Tele, Maruti, Bhel, Grasim, L&T and HDFC Bank also made handsome progresses.

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