Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Mar 09, 2004
Columns - Sensor
Oil, cement stocks stay in positive territory
FOLLOWING the surge in stock prices on Friday, the markets began the week on a high note to close in the positive territory for the second consecutive trading day.
Buoyed by the continuing interest in oil stocks, the Sensex surged by 54 points to close the day at 5935.19 up from 5880.35 points. The Nifty gained by Rs 17.60 up from 1867.7 points and closed at 1885.30.
The Sensex opened on a strong note at 5889.26 up 8 points and continued to trade in a narrow range during the day but remained positive for most part of the trading, ending the day higher by 0.93 per cent. Oil and cement stocks remained in the limelight with the major gainers for the day including HPCL, ONGC, Grasim and Gujarat Ambuja.
Tech stocks continued to be out of favour. The prominent losers on Monday included Reliance Energy, Wipro, Infosys, Satyam and HCL Technologies.
The market sentiment was bullish with the advance-decline ratio showing an across the board advance in stock prices. 1018 stocks advanced while 901 declined out of the 2023 stocks traded on Monday. Index heavyweights, save Infosys, gained with ICICI Bank and State Bank of India registering impressive gains. ICICI Bank appreciated 4.64 per cent to close at Rs 305.75 while SBI closed higher by 1.95 per cent at Rs 628.45. These stocks have been on a steady up trend for the past few trading days. HLL continued to be out of favour. The stock has depreciated by 10 per cent this past one week
Oil stocks, which had gained considerably on Friday, surged further on Monday. The appreciation comes on the back of the firming up of crude prices and the success of the ONGC offer. Leading the pack was HPCL, which appreciated by 6.32 per cent followed by ONGC, which surged by 6.06 per cent. Other gainers included IOC, GAIL, Chennai Petrochemicals and MRPL to name a few. Cement stocks were also in favour on Monday, with major stocks such as Gujarat Ambuja, ACC and Madras Cements appreciating.
Engineering stocks such as Bharat Earth Movers, BHEL, Cummins India and Thermax registered gains, while ABB declined marginally. L&T has been among the top gainers in the past week. It has appreciated nearly 8 per cent in the last one week.
Metal stocks too had the share of limelight on Monday with the prices of both aluminium and steel on a rise. With aluminium prices firming up, aluminium stocks ruled strong. Hindalco has appreciated by nearly 5 per cent over the past week. Nalco and Madras Aluminium were also in the list of gainers. Steel stocks continue to gain with Essar Steel, SAIL and Tata Steel were among the gainers.
Textile stocks have been witnessing considerable activity the past few days as the industry's prospects are projected to improve post 2005. Arvind Mills, Bombay Dyeing, Mahavir Spinning, Century Industries and Raymond were among the stocks that gained on Monday.
Among the top gainers on Monday were Berger Paints and Gammon India. Berger Paints gained Rs 19.5 to close at Rs 193.55 on back of news that it is to issue bonus shares in the ratio of one ordinary share for every two ordinary shares held in the company. Gammon India appreciated by Rs 17.2 to close at Rs 449 on the back of its bagging a order worth Rs 800 million.
Information technology stocks continued to trade weak on prevailing fears about outsourcing backlash. Stocks such as Infosys, Wipro and Satyam have declined the past few trading days while CMC and Hughes Software bucked the trend.
Automobile and auto ancillary stocks, which have been active, took a breather on Monday with trading being a mixed bag. Stocks that gained include Ashok Leyland, Bajaj Tempo, Bharat Forge and Sundaram Fasteners.
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