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Infotech stocks sizzle

S. Muralidhar

THE markets continued to be in the red on Thursday despite an improvement in valuations of information technology stocks. With the over 18 points fall on Thursday, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has fallen in three out of the four trading sessions this week.

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Thursday's fall in the indices came despite a smart recovery in the values of information technology (IT) stocks. Though there were a few stocks in the red in the IT segment, most of them sought higher levels on renewed buying by institutions. The BSE Sensex fell by over half a percentage point to close the day at 3,219.88 points. With the re-entry of IT stocks into positive territory, the BSE TECk index of technology stocks went up by 1.26 per cent and its market capitalisation grew by 7.21 per cent at Rs 44,048 crore.

The major gainers in the IT segment were Hughes Software, Digital Globalsoft, Hexaware Ltd, MphasiS BFL and Infosys Technologies. The stock of Infosys shot up Rs 51.40 or 1.22 per cent at Rs 4,251.45 and Satyam Computer, which grew by about Rs 2 to close Thursday's session at Rs 218.45. HCL Technologies also went up by Rs 6.10, a near four per cent jump to end at Rs 159.90.

MTNL the telecom major continued to be the market's favourite and went up by a further 4.42 per cent. Two-wheeler maker Hero Honda also shot up by two per cent at Rs 254.85.

Amongst the losers in the A-group were ITC down Rs 3.70, ACC down 3.78 per cent, BHEL down 2.89 per cent, BSES down by Rs 3.10, Dr Reddy's Laboratories down by Rs 3.85, GlaxoSmithKline, which was again lower by 2.45 per cent, L&T down by Rs 4.15 and Reliance Industries was also hammered down by Rs 5.15 to close at Rs 268.05. Hindustan Lever continued its southward slid, due to persistent selling pressure after announcing lower than expected quarterly results. The stock fell by another 1.48 per cent on Thursday to close at Rs 170.25.

Banking stocks, public sector undertaking stocks and energy stocks had a day of mixed fortunes on Thursday. Zee Telefilms was up by over one per cent. IPCL, which has announced a good quarterly performance also went up to close at Rs 95. Among banking stocks, State Bank of India and Oriental Bank were down.

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