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Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003

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Shipping co stocks steam ahead

Suresh Krishnamurthy

AFTER the decline in stock prices on Monday, the market witnessed an across-the-board rally in prices on Tuesday.

Similar to Monday, the Sensex opened at a level higher than the previous session's close. However, in contrast to the decline seen in late trade on Monday, stock prices surged higher and ended with sizable gains.

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The Sensex and the Nifty ended with a gain of 1.5 and 1.6 per cent respectively. Interestingly, all of BSE's sector indices, excepting Fast Moving Consumer Goods, recorded similar gains suggesting an across-the-board rally. Infact, the gains recorded by indices such as S&P CNX 500, CNX Midcap 200 were also similar.

Stocks of shipping companies were prominent gainers during the day. Stocks such as GE Shipping, Shipping Corporation, Varun Shipping, Mercator Lines, Chowgule Steamships and South East Asia Marine recorded sizable gains.

Auto ancillary stocks such as Igarashi Motors, Denso India, Hitech Gears, Motherson Sumi Systems, Rico Auto, MICO and Amforge Industries also soared . Stocks that gained 20 per cent include Nahar Sugar, Atul, Fortune Infotech, Birla Yamaha and Salora International.

Major gainers during the day included stocks such as Tata Infotech, Zicom Electronics, Chemplast Sanmar, VXL Instruments, Sundram Fasteners, Mukand, Digital Equipment and Balrumpur Chini. The stock of Tata Infotech rose 7.3 per cent after the company announced a ten-fold rise in net profits for the half year ending September 2003.

The stock of Zicom Electronics rose 9 per cent in the wake of the company's tie-up with another small company, Topsgroup, which is expected to boost sales in the next couple of years. Announcement of re-organisation of businesses of the Sanmar group helped the Chemplast Sanmar stock gain 10 per cent. The stock of Sundram Fasteners gained 3.8 per cent. The company announced after trading-hours on Monday that it is acquiring a forging unit in the UK.

The stock of Mukand also ended with 10 per cent gains. The company announced the closure of a forging unit in Kurla, which was earlier opposed by the labour commissioner. The stock of Digital Equipment soared up by nearly 7 per cent. The company did not confirm market rumours that it is about to receive a huge order from the US. The stock still surged ahead.

The stock of Hitachi Home & Life Solutions gained 6 per cent. The company has come out with a rights offer of shares. The stock of Balrumpur Chini gained more than 6 per cent after the company announced that it is commissioning a plant by the third week of December. Stocks such as India Glycol, Ruchi Soya, Great Eastern, Automatic Axles, Amforge Industries, Rico Auto, Sundaram Clayton were among 34 stocks which hit new yearly high prices during the day.

The stocks of public sector companies such as VSNL, CMC and IPCL also remained firm. The Minister for Disinvestment has said that the Government will sell its minority stake. The stock of VSNL gained 6 per cent.

Other PSU stocks to gain include HPCL, BPCL and IOC. HPCL had agreed to sell its stake in MRPL to ONGC. The stock of MRPL declined by 3.8 per cent. Major losers during the day included stocks such as IVRCL Infrastructure, IBP, Tata Honeywell and Rashtriya Chemicals.

Steel stocks such as SAIL, Essar Steel, Bhushan Steel, Lloyds Steel, Jindal Iron, Jindal Stainless and Jindal Vijayanagar recorded losses. The stock of Tata Steel, however, firmed up marginally. The stock of Jindal Strips surged up by 20 per cent while that of Jindal Steel & Power gained 5 per cent.

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