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Tuesday, May 25, 2004

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Market cheers; Sensex gains 161 points

Our Bureau

Mumbai , May 24

STOCK markets today greeted the appointment of Mr P. Chidambaram as the Finance Minister with the indices surging upwards.

This positive trend was sustained throughout the day on value buying.

At the close of trading today, the BSE Sensex gained 161 points - an appreciation of 3.26 per cent - to close at 5,123. The rally on the bourse was broad-based with all the key indices closing in the green, though BSETECk registered the highest gain of 7.07 per cent.

Barring MTNL and ICICI Bank, all the Sensex scrips closed higher. The big gainers of the day included IDBI, Essar Oil, Hinduja TMT, NIIT and GTL. Overall, 1,257 scrips advanced, while 505 declined in today's trade at the BSE.

The Nifty tracked a similar curve, opening positive and steadily climbing up. The key index touched 1613 points, before sliding slightly to close at 1608, up 3.12 per cent from Friday's close. Reliance Energy, HCL Tech, VSNL, Infosys and Satyam were the top gainers in the Nifty. Volumes continued to be low at both the exchanges. In the NSE, 22.09 crore shares were traded for a total value of Rs 4,060 crore, and 10.48 crore shares, valued at Rs 1,828 crore changed hands at the BSE.

Brokers also feel that retail investments have considerably slowed down and confidence in the markets has not been restored despite the fact that markets have been recovering steadily. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs), however, are positive on the overall view of the markets. Though emerging markets have largely been recovering, they are being closely watched to take indications about which way the "global factor" on the Indian market would head.

Concerns over the fuel prices and indications about global interest rates heading northwards remain.

Market participants are divided over the extent of impact these global fundamentals have on the Indian bourses. While one section is convinced that the country's stance and performance as an individual economy is over in view of the heightened FII interest, others are convinced that internal factors influence the markets more, while external factors are merely temporary blips.

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