Sensex in positive terrain amidst volatile trading

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Mumbai, May 22: The Sensex edged up by a nominal 35.12 points today on the Bombay Stock Exchange to settle at 14,453.72, amidst high volatility triggered by a mixed trend in index pivotals.

After opening higher at 14,459.00 it had touched a high of 14,483.59 and a low of 14,348.26 during intra-day trade.

Among the broader markets, the Nifty Index also gained 11.05 points on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) to settle at 4,271.95 from its previous close of 4,260.90.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) saw a trend reversal from the morning session and recovered from its low of Rs 1738.50 to settle 0.66 per cent higher at Rs 1773.25 on 10.88 lakh shares. The blue-chip company has been hitting record highs in the past three sessions and has advanced over 34 per cent and been a major driver for the recent rallies, market analysts pointed out adding that that the scrip witnessed a sharp uptrend after it last week announced that it had made two gas discoveries in separate blocks off the east and west coasts of the country. The commerciality however, of the above discoveries is currently under evaluation.

At the premier BSE, the market breadth, which indicates the overall health of the market, was weak. 1,464 shares declined while 1,115 advanced and 85 remained unchanged. The total turnover here amounted to Rs 5,180. Among the Sensex pack, 16 advanced while 15 declined, analysts observed.

For the fourth straight day, Bajaj Auto was on a losing streak, declining 2.77 per cent to Rs 2186.10, as its demerger scheme, announced last week triggered a flurry of rating downgrades by brokerage houses. It was the top loser.

Asian and European markets were trading mixed. Hang Seng was down by 0.40 per cent, while the Nikkei 225 Index was up by 0.70 per cent.

Meanwhile, the interbank foreign exchange (forex) market today witnessed fairly active trade in the initial stages of trading. The domestic unit resumed firm at 40.60/62 per US dollar over last close of 40.67/68 per US dollar. It later traded at 40.5850/5950 a dollar in late morning deals on some dollar selling. The Rupee strengthened in the absence of any dollar demand from oil corporates, experts explained.

Gujarat Ambuja Cements was down by 2.10 per cent to Rs 116.45, SBI slipped by 1.91 per cent at Rs 1321 and ICICI Bank was down by 1.38 per cent to Rs 926.90. Information Technology (IT) pivotals, which have been underperforming in the market of late, were left behind as the Rupee struck a fresh nine-year high. A rise in the Rupee directly impacts revenue and profit of IT firms, which derive a lion's share of revenue from exports to the US.

Infosys was down by 1.26 per cent at Rs 1936, HCL Technologies tanked by 1.42 per cent at Rs 342.25 and Tata Consultancy Services was down by 0.56 per cent at Rs 1230.

However, Satyam Computer Services was marginally up by 0.06 per cent at Rs 448.55 after it signed a multiyear, multi-disciplinary service agreement with Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) yesterday.

HDFC was the top gainer, up by 4.76 per cent at Rs 1,800 on 2.31 lakh shares, while HDFC Bank rose by 1.54 per cent at Rs 1120. ACC was up by 1.55 per cent to Rs 885 and Hero Honda was up by 0.85 per cent to Rs 686.25.

Public sector unit (PSU) engineering major Bhel rose 1.30 per cent to Rs 2,670, on 1.35 lakh shares.

Small car major Maruti Udyog rose 0.80 per cent to Rs 827.

Crude-oil futures for light sweet crude for June delivery closed at USD 66.27 per barrel, higher by USD 1.33 per barrel or 2.05 per cent on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The expiry of the June crude futures contract tomorrow was likely to help exaggerate the move in oil. Any sharp rise from these levels now may put the brakes to the ongoing rally, analysts reasoned.

The Standard&Poor's 500, the broadest measure of the US stock market and the one most closely followed by professionals on Wall Street, closed just shy of a record high yesterday, as fresh takeover announcements lifted US stocks. It gained 2.35 points, or 0.2 per cent, to end at 1,525.10 points.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 13.65 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 13,542.88, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index jumped by 20.34, or 0.8 per cent, at 2,578.79.


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