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Friday, Jul 23, 2004

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Transaction tax cut brings cheer to markets

G. Madhan

THE Government's decision to slash the transaction tax to 0.015 per cent appears to have cheered the day traders and institutional investors, as the secondary markets remained buoyant on Thursday. Good quarterly earnings recorded by some of the major companies also have infused positive sentiments among the investing public.

The benchmark BSE Sensex rose 60.53 points (1.21 per cent). The 30-stock opened firm at 5041.14 points, about 47 points higher than the previous closing. During the early trading sessions, it declined and reached the day's low of 5020.69 points. Sensex steadily gained after that and reached the day's high of 5082.81 points before closing at 5054.29 points.

A slightly broad-based 50-stock index, the S&P CNX Nifty rose 16.7 points to 1598.1 points.

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On the BSE, most of the indices including BSE TECk (0.66 per cent), BSEPSU (1.69 per cent), BANKEX (2.03 per cent) closed the day on a positive note. On the BSE, of the total 1,966 stocks that were traded, 1,112 advanced, 761 declined and the rest remained unchanged. Among the Sensex constituents, 19 stocks advanced and the others declined.

Among the index heavyweights, sharp surge was seen in the stock of Reliance Industries, as it rose by 4.7 per cent to Rs 454.8. The stocks of Infosys Technologies, ICICI Bank and ONGC also closed the day on a positive note.

Strong buying interest was seen in the stocks of HDFC, State Bank of India, Bharti Tele, Hindustan Petroleum and MTNL.

Bank stocks were on the limelight on Thursday. Despite registering a drop in revenues and earnings, the stock of Corporation Bank rose by 5.5 per cent to Rs 236.35. The stocks of Canara Bank, Union Bank, Bank of India, Andhra Bank, and UCO Bank were also among the gainers.

Sharp gains were also seen in the stocks of SSI, Aptech, Sintex Industries, Power Trading, Dishman Pharma and Essar Shipping.

The stocks of automobile makers witnessed a decline on Thursday. They include Mahindra & Mahindra, TVS Motor, Escorts, Maruti Udyog and Hero Honda.

Tata Steel posted a net profit of Rs 745.5 crore for the quarter ending June 2004, over 100 per cent growth, when compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The stock appreciated by 1.9 per cent to Rs 363.45.

Jindal Stainless has bought a 50,000-tonne stainless steel cold rolling plant, from a Japanese collaboration `PT Maspeon Stainless Steel' in Indonesia, at an estimated cost of $32 million. The company also plans to increase the capacity of this plant from 50,000 tonne to 1,00,000 tonne by the end of this fiscal year with an additional investment of $12 million. The stock was up 1.9 per cent to Rs 69.1.

Several steel stocks including SAIL, Jindal Iron & Steel and Uttam Galva were among the gainers.

Arvind Mills net profit in the recently concluded quarter fell by 35 per cent to Rs 18.1 crore, from the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The stock fell by 4.9 per cent to Rs 73.6.

Natco Pharma has launched Chlorambucil, a drug used for the treatment of cancer and Hodgkins disease, under the brand name Clokeran. The stock appreciated by 4.9 per cent to Rs 84.8.

Precision Wires India is to explore the possibilities of entering into collaboration with foreign partners. The stock was up 3.2 per cent to Rs 44.65.

Investment Precision & Castings has fixed August 30 as the record date for the purpose of bonus issue. The stock was up 1.9 per cent to Rs 380.

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