Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Aug 10, 2002
Columns - Sensor
Markets finish on firm note as techs sizzle
THE last day of the trading week witnessed a good bout of optimism, narrowing down the losses for the entire week. Bulls wrested control of the trading session and sentiment turned positive after tech stocks were picked up at bargains. On the other hand, the worry of monsoon failure lingered at the back of investors' minds as they struck tractor company stocks off their shopping list.
The Sensex opened on a bright note at 2974.68 points and pushed forward from the start of the trading session. However, it lost steam a third of its way into the trading and dropped to its intra-day low at 2931.78 points. Then on, the index serially continued to climb hitting the day's high towards the day's close at 2982.51. The index ended at 2976.34 points higher by 26.25 points or 0.89 per cent over Thursday's close. The Nifty too ended on a similar note, up by 0.88 per cent.
Pivotals lent themselves to the broad trading activity. The breadth indicator, the advances to declines, registered 718 to 651. However, advancing volumes significantly overwhelmed declining volumes, hitting 7.35 crore shares in contrast to 88 lakh shares that dropped. The depth indicator was as usual lost, at only 13 shares that hit their yearly highs as against 40 shares that fell to their yearly lows.
Another dampener was the apprehension over monsoon failure. Reflecting this, tractor stocks, which have been weakening in the last few days, dropped further on Friday. While Punjab Tractors closed at Rs 145.40 (down 3.77 per cent), Escorts and Eicher ended at Rs 54.95 (down 0.27 per cent) and Rs 19 (down 4.28 per cent) respectively. Mahindra & Mahindra was the sole stock that emerged relatively unscathed. The stock closed at Rs 90.70 (up 1.97 per cent).
Satyam did the rounds in the market for a lot of reasons. Overseas equity fund Warburg Pincus is reported to have picked up a 5.3-per cent stake in it. The company is also looking at hiving off Satyam Infoway, a Nasdaq-listed company in which it owns about 52.5 per cent. It has apparently enlisted the Saint Gobain unit as a client. Satyam was on a roll gaining 2.28 per cent at Rs 202.85.
Software majors Wipro and Infosys registered sizeable ticks after a senior official from the latter switched over to Wipro. The year-old Dallas-based chief marketing officer changed employers to head the back office foray at Wipro.
Apparently, his departure from Infosys has been perceived by the market as inconsequential.
Both Infosys and Wipro gained by 2.38 per cent and 2.60 per cent to close at Rs 3,165.60 and Rs 1,174.90 respectively.
Apollo Tyres has said that it would contract its tyre production to Modi Rubber in the run-up to a plausible takeover of the latter's tyre business.
Apollo is to provide raw material and handle distribution but brand the products under Modi's umbrella.
While Apollo closed 9.47 per cent higher, Modi gained 7.01 per cent.
IDBI and IFCI finished higher by 2.24 per cent (at Rs 18.20) and 6.06 per cent (at Rs 4.95) respectively after the Finance Minister indicated that steps would be taken to prop up the ailing financial system.
MTNL rose 2.6 per cent, possibly on reports that the Government is considering selling its stake in the company.
The stock closed at Rs 130.15.
National Aluminium rose 0.35 per cent, probably on reports that Australian company BHP Billiton would bid for the Government's stake in the company. The stock closed at Rs 111.80.
Among other gainers were stocks such as KPIT Infosystems, Tata Steel and Hinduja TMT.
Losers featured stocks such as Sterlite Opticals, Dr Reddy's and Ashok Leyland.
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