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Stocks ride high

Our Bureau

MUMBAI, March 1

STOCKS across-the-board recouped from Thursday's fall as the sentiment in the market improved following the Finance Minister's clarifications on certain Budget proposals today.

The rise was also on account of short covering. The beginning of fresh contracts in the derivatives (especially stock futures) also led to increase. Volume in the market was low in the absence of a number institutional players due to the bandh called by VHP.

As the market started understanding the fine prints of the Budget, the fund managers turned buyers. The mood was optimistic despite arson and violence in Gujarat and the bandh in other countries.

The BSE-30 share sensitive index opened lower at 3,551.56 from the previous close of 3,562.31. But active buying from FIIs and domestic institutions lifted the benchmark index to touch the day's high of 3,693.92 before it ended at 3,678.75, up 116.44 points (3.27 per cent). On NSE, S&P CNX Nifty closed 35.95 points (3.15 per cent) higher at 1,178.

"Markets has overcome the perceived bad Budget and the crisis in Gujarat. After the clarifications from the Finance Ministers, the Budget is a great buying opportunity,'' said Mr Sindhu Sameer, Assistant Vice-President, UTI Securities.

There was buying by the market players. However, the institutional players were seen buying in number of index stocks like HLL, ITC, SBI and BHEL.

The news of the merger plans of Reliance Industries and Reliance Petroleum came after the closure of the market. Dealers said the impact of this would be seen tomorrow. But at close, RIL shares ended higher at Rs 322.15, up from Rs 307.345 on BSE, while RPL closed marginally lower at Rs 28.60 from Rs 28.85.

In addition, there was also active buying in some of the sectors like media, banks, IT and cement.

But some market experts feel that the some caution should be taken while entering the market at these levels as number of stocks have already appreciated by 50 per cent in the last couple of months.

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