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Friday, Apr 09, 2004

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Markets end in positive terrain

B. Krishnakumar

AFTER a subdued trend in the last couple of days, the key market indices closed in the positive zone on Thursday. The 30-share Sensex closed at 5838.45, up 23.32 points and the 50-share S&P CNX Nifty inched up by 4.85 points to end at 1853.55. Though the indices recorded nominal gains, the up move was not too convincing with the indices being confined to a narrow range during the day.

Wipro, ONGC and Ranbaxy Laboratories were prominent gainers among the stocks that form part of the Sensex. The share price of Wipro increased by Rs 48 before closing at Rs 1464.8. Trading volumes of about three lakh shares was traded during the day.

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After Infosys, it was Wipro and MphasiS BFL's turn to spring a surprise by announcing plans to issue bonus share. This appears to have imparted positive sentiment towards the Wipro stock. The company is holding a board meeting on April 16 to consider issuance of bonus shares.

While Wipro's share price rose on the bonus-issue talks, the share price of Mphasis BFL dropped by Rs 20.85, to close at Rs 574.5, even after announcing a one-for-one bonus. Reports indicate that the lower than expected performance for the fourth quarter of previous fiscal has triggered the fall in share price.

Along with Mphasis BFL, Infosys and Satyam too ruled weak on Thursday. The share price of Satyam dropped by Rs 5 to close at Rs 310.2. Close to 37 lakh shares were traded during the day. A firm trend in quite a few stocks from the pharmaceutical and sugar industry was however the highlight of the day's trading. The likes of Ranbaxy Laboratories, Cadila Healthcare, Wockhardt and Lupin were prominent gainers from the pharmaceutical sector.

The share price of Cadila Healthcare jumped by about 9 per cent to close at Rs 534.85. Trading volumes rocketed to 83810 shares from 1775 shares recorded on Wednesday.

Sugar producers such as Balrampur Chini, Bannari Amman Sugar and Andhra Sugar notched up handsome gains, backed by a sharp spurt in trading volumes as well. The share price of Balrampur Chini shot up by 11 per cent to Rs 370.95 while trading volumes rose to 84326 shares from 7943 shares recorded the previous day.

Banking sector stocks such as Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of Baroda and Andhra Bank too logged gains during the day. The share price of Indian Overseas Bank increased by 6.7 per cent to Rs 59.6. Trading volumes increased to 11 lakh shares from 7.7 lakh shares.

The share price of Pantaloon Retail too logged a sharp increase in share price on the back of a huge jump in trading volumes. The share price of the company increased to Rs 321.9 from Rs 304.2. Trading volumes dropped to 77479 shares from 3.01 lakh shares. Interestingly, the trading volume in this counter was unusually high at 1.14 lakh shares in comparison to 16401 shares recorded on Wednesday.

The share price of recently listed Biocon registered an impressive 20 per cent increase in share price on Thursday. The stock closed at 581.2 while trading volumes rose to 37.3 lakh shares from 32.6 lakh shares.

While a few pharma stocks recorded gains, there was adequate representation of these stocks in the losers list as well. Cipla, Aurobindo Pharma, Sun Pharma and Divi's Labs were prominent losers from the sector. The Divi's Lab stock dropped by 2.3 per cent or Rs 34.5 to settle at Rs 1488.95. Trading volumes increased to 7294 shares from 6456 shares.

Sun Pharma's share price dropped by Rs 15.65 on reports that it is planning to raise funds through issue of bonds/shares. The company plans to raise about $350 million through the proposed offer. The stock closed at Rs 701.8. Trading volumes dropped to 18206 shares from 28717 shares recorded the previous day.

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