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Wednesday, January 24, 2001

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Key IT scrips ensnared in web of losses

N.S. Vageesh

EQUITIES ended in positive territory for the eighth successive session on Tuesday at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). The Sensitive Index of the BSE ended 0.69 per cent, or 29.58 points higher at 4,296.69 points.

Earlier in the day, the index touched a low of 4,272.87 points and a high of 4,321.75 points. It has gained nearly 270 points over the past eight sessions. The NSE's Nifty moved in tandem on Tuesday, gaining 0.64 per cent to end at 1,356.60 points.

The volume of business done on the BSE on Tuesday was to the tune of Rs 6,235.26 crore compared to Rs 6,558.96 crores on Monday. Going by the advance-decline statistics, the bullish sentiment seemed a trifle toned down. Gainers were outnumbered just a bi t, with 633 stocks posting gains compared to 799 losers and 133 stocks which remained unchanged.

The information technology sector was once again churned. Monday's winners swapped places with losers. While Infosys, Wipro, Satyam and HCL Technologies registered losses, on the winning side were the stocks of NIIT, Hughes Software and SSI.

Other prominent gainers included Bank of Madura, Zee Telefilms, Bajaj Auto, Tata Tea and VSNL.

The NIIT stock recovered most of the losses that it registered on Monday. The stock gained Rs 28.50 to end at Rs 1,752.35. The company had reported a net profit of Rs 29.83 crore (Rs 18.52 crore) for the latest quarter ended December 2000. The stock was down by Rs 35.60 on Monday.

Traded volumes were slightly higher at 4.59 lakh shares compared to 4.13 lakh shares on Monday.

The SSI stock was also in the recovery mode. It gained Rs 22.15 but didn't quite make up the losses suffered on Monday. The stock ended at Rs 1,481.95. Traded volumes were again higher at 16.93 lakh shares compared to 15.68 lakh shares on Monday.

The Hughes Software stock continued its upward journey, registering another Rs 27 gain on Tuesday. The stock closed at Rs 994.45. Traded volumes doubled to 2.78 lakh shares on Tuesday.

The Bank of Madura stock was up by Rs 20.55 to end at Rs 277.90. Traded volumes in the stock was up by three times to a level of 73,250 shares. The shareholders of the bank had recently approved the merger of the bank with ICICI Bank.

The stock ICICI Bank was calmer on Tuesday. It registered a marginal gain of Rs 1.65 on the back of a traded volume of 7.71 lakh shares to end at Rs 167. It had registered a gain of Rs 12 on Monday.

The Bajaj Auto stock moved up by Rs 13.75 on Tuesday to end at Rs 302.10. Traded volumes were, however, lower at 6.62 lakh shares compared to 7.35 lakh shares on Monday.

The Tata Tea stock gained Rs 12.65 to end at Rs 288.85. The gains come in the wake of the news that the company would have Mr Khusrokhan as its new managing director.

The company reported a near 50 per cent drop in its profits for the third quarter on Monday. Traded volumes in the stock moved up sharply to 23.21 lakh shares compared to a mere 7.35 lakh shares on Monday.

The Infosys Technologies stock gave up the gains it garnered on Monday to end Rs 89.05 lower at Rs 6,754.15. Traded volumes in the stock were much lower at 5.33 lakh shares on Tuesday compared to 7.22 lakh shares over the past two days.

The Wipro stock once again resumed its tango with the Infosys stock and lost Rs 70.05 on Tuesday. It closed at Rs 2,813.40. It lost Rs 30.45 on Monday. Traded volumes were of the order of 7.25 lakh shares.

The HCL Technologies stock was down by Rs 35.35 on Tuesday to end at Rs 643.35. The stock was down by Rs 62.85 on Monday, giving up the gains it had made last Friday. Traded volumes were down to 7.25 lakh shares compared to 9.84 lakh shares on Monday.

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