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Wednesday, Dec 25, 2002

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Buying interest in pivotals lifts Sensex

G. Madhan

AFTER the declivity on Monday, the benchmark BSE Sensex closed higher on Tuesday. The buying activity, witnessed by the counters of key index heavy weights such as Infosys Technologies, Hindustan Lever and Reliance Industries, appears to have fuelled the northward movement of the Sensex. Banking stocks and select PSUs also witnessed buying activity.

At the close of trading on Tuesday, the Sensex went up by 23.16 points (0.7 per cent) to end at 3352.77 points. Gainers outperformed losers 796 to 560 in a trade of 7.25 crore volumes of shares.

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The National Stock Exchange's S&P CNX Nifty was also up by 9 points (0.84 per cent) to 1085 points.

Among the index heavy weights, software major, Infosys Technologies went up by 1.97 per cent to Rs 4,690.55 with accompanying volumes of 2.97 lakh shares. Fast moving consumer good major Hindustan Lever also went up by 2.95 points to Rs 182.90. About 2.57 lakh shares were traded in this counter. Diversified major Reliance Industries also went up by 0.66 per cent to Rs 291.40, the accompanying volumes being 16.22 lakh shares. However, India's largest cigarette manufacturer, ITC, went down by 0.76 per cent to Rs 662.25, on accompanying volumes of 47,439 shares.

Information Technology sector witnessed a strong buying activity. Software major HCL Technologies went up by Rs 2 to Rs 187.85, with accompanying volumes of 3.18 lakh shares. Software major Wipro also went up by 2.36 per cent to Rs 1,596.05. Close to 2 lakh shares were exchanged in this counter. Satyam Computer also went up on Tuesday by 2.79 per cent to Rs 285.70; accompanying volumes were 59 lakh shares while Digital GlobalSoft went up Rs 20.15 to Rs 623.55, with accompanying volumes of 18.34 lakh shares. Medium-sized software firms also went up. Among the second-rung software firms, the gainers were Silverline, VisualSoft, NIIT, Polaris Software, Hexaware, Mastek and Hughes Software.

Bank stocks also witnessed buying interest on the back of expectations that the sector will post good results for the current quarter. State Bank of India, the nation's largest commercial bank, climbed 1.27 per cent to Rs 282.85, accompanied by volumes of 14.36 lakh shares. Bank of Baroda also jumped 5.22 per cent to Rs 71.60. About 7.5 lakh shares were exchanged in this counter. Canara Bank, which made its debut on Monday, went up marginally by 0.92 per cent to Rs 49.60. About 56.5 lakh shares were exchanged in this counter. Other banks that moved into the positive territory include Union Bank, Punjab National Bank and Vijaya Bank.

Select state-owned companies also went up on Tuesday. Oil majors Hindustan Petroleum went up Rs 1.6 to Rs 283.50, with accompanying volumes of 6.96 lakh shares, while Bharat Petroleum went up marginally by 0.14 per cent to Rs 211.35 posting volumes of 2.39 lakh shares. Government-owned Shipping Corporation of India also went up by 1.75 per cent to Rs 66.85, on accompanying volumes of 1.60 lakh shares. State-owned aluminium major, National Aluminium also went up Rs 1.45 to Rs 89.60. About 35,104 shares were traded in this counter.

Auto stocks were a mixed bag. Auto major Tata Engineering went up by 1.42 per cent to Rs 160.30, with accompanying volumes of 7.45 lakh shares; Mahindra & Mahindra went up by 0.84 per cent to Rs 108.45, with accompanying volumes of 1.62 lakh shares. However, two-wheeler major Hero Honda went down by 2.12 per cent to Rs 268.25, the accompanying volumes being 2.17 lakh shares, even as scooter major Bajaj Auto went down by 0.57 per cent to Rs 487.65, with accompanying volumes of 34,383 shares.

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