Stocks pause for breath

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Mumbai
  • Published 4.01.05
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Mumbai, Jan. 4: The market took a break today from the bull rally over the past few days as profit booking and a drop in Reliance group scrips pulled the sensex down 28 points .

Brokerages said domestic investors and financial institutions sold metal and automobile stocks heavily. Reliance group stocks came under pressure as differences between the two Ambani brothers resurfaced after a brief lull.

Anil Ambani had resigned as vice-chairman and director of Indian Petrochemicals Corporation (IPCL) on Monday, blaming Anand Jain, brother Mukesh?s confidant, for the decision.

Reliance Industries? (RIL) share fell by Rs 12.30 to Rs 530.80, while Reliance Energy closed at Rs 554.80, down Rs 7.05. IPCL shares dropped by over a per cent to Rs 188.90.

The sensex opened lower at 6638.56, shot up to a day?s high of 6696.31, a striking distance of the 677-mark. It, however, retracted and was later seen hovering in a narrow range of 55 points before closing at 6651.01 against Monday's 6679.20, a net fall of 28.19 points or 0.42 per cent.

While operators and domestic mutual funds were in sale mode, brokers said a slowdown was also seen among foreign institutional investors.

There are optimists who feel that despite today's poor show, the equity markets are in the middle of a bull run and this will escalate once the third quarter results are announced.

Cement counters saw hectic buying with positive December shipments coupled with reports on price increases. Gujarat Ambuja Cements closed at a high of Rs 425.85 ? a gain of Rs 18.25. ACC gained Rs 10.05 to close at Rs 351.55 and shares of Grasim rose Rs 14.25 to Rs 1340.90.

The volume of business increased to Rs 2,612.01 crore from Rs 2321.58 crore on Monday. RIL remained the top traded scrip with the highest turnover of Rs 132.85 crore, followed by Cummins India (Rs 92.89 crore), Bharti Tele-Services (Rs 91.99 crore), SBI and Tata Tele Services. Brokers said block deals were seen in both the Cummins India and Bharti counters.

IPCL board meet

The board of Indian Petrochemicals Corporation (IPCL) is likely to meet on January 20, a day before the board meeting of flagship Reliance Industries, to approve financial results for the October-December quarter. During the meeting, Anil Ambani?s resignation as vice-chairman and director might come up for consideration, sources said.