Sensex surges by 164.69 points

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Mumbai, Sept 18: The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex surged by 164.69 points today to settle above the 15,600 mark at 15,669.12 from its previous close of 15,504.43, tracking recovery in European markets.

''US stock futures pointed slightly higher opening today, ahead of two main events, that is interest-rate decision by the US Federal Reserve and third quarter earnings from investment bank Lehman Brothers post crisis in the subprime mortgage market and the credit crunch which was triggered last month. The S&P 500 futures were up 0.50 points at 1,490.30 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 1.75 points at 2,007.75, while the Dow Jones industrial Average futures rose 11 points,'' market pundits explained.

Similarly, among the broader indices, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) S&P CNX Nifty also advanced by around 52 points to settle in the green at 4,546.20 from it's last close of 4,494.65, after opening marginally weak at 4, 494.10 and moving between 4,551.80 and 4,481.55 during the day's session.

''Banking shares surged on renewed buying, but pharma and software shares were subdued,'' market players said.

The market breadth was strong on the BSE, with 1,794 shares advancing as compared to 958 that declined, while 55 remained unchanged. The total turnover amounted to Rs 5,585 crore as compared. Among the 30-scrip Sensex pack, 21 gained while 9 slipped, official data shows.

ICICI Bank advanced 3.04 per cent to Rs 921.05 on 6.80 lakh shares. It was the top gainer from the Sensex pack. The other leaders included SBI, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank, Andhra Bank, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Energy (REL), ONGC, Reliance Industries (RIL) and Mahindra&Mahindra. However, Cipla, Dr Reddy's, Wipro, Satyam Computers and Infosys Technologies edged lower.

European markets recovered after weak opening today. Key benchmark indices in France and UK advanced, while Germany's DAX index was down 0.04 per cent to 7,476.90.
MARKETS-STOCKS INTRO TWO LAST MUMBAI . India's largest listed cellular services provider by sales, Bharti Airtel advanced 2.34 per cent to Rs 832.50, after foreign brokerage house Citigroup recommended buy rating on the stock with a 12-month target price of Rs 1,050.

The largest private sector power utility company in terms of sales, Reliance Energy (REL) hit all time high of Rs 933 in intra-day trade. It settled 1.97 per cent higher at Rs 925.70. The Supreme Court has recently allowed the company to bid for the Rs 2,600 crore Mumbai sea link project.

Pharma and software shares were subdued. Cipla, the country's third largest pharma company in terms of net sales, slipped 2.04 per cent to Rs 168.45 on 7.16 lakh shares. It was the top loser from Sensex pack. India's second largest pharma company in terms of net sales, Dr Reddy's slipped 0.20 per cent to Rs 641.

The country's largest private sector entity by market capitalisation and oil refiner Reliance Industries (RIL) recovered sharply from day's low of Rs 2,007. It settled 1.21 per cent higher at Rs 2,053 on 8.65 lakh shares. Analysts say RIL is foraying in shipbuilding and dredging business with two separate companies. It plans to invest around USD 1 billion each in two companies and has begun talks with international majors for a strategic tie-up for the dredging business.

Reliance Capital was the top traded counter on BSE with total turnover of Rs 223.96 crore followed by Reliance Industries (Rs 176.09 crore), Reliance Industrial Infrastructure (Rs 129.33 crore), Reliance Energy (Rs 128.83 crore) and Indowind Energy (Rs 120.22 crore).

Asian markets were lower today, hurt by concerns related to the health of the global credit markets. Japan's Nikkei crashed 2.02 per cent at 15,801.80, Hong Kong's Hang Seng tanked 0.09 per cent at 24,576.85 , and South Korea's Seoul Composite shed 1.77 per cent at 1,838.61. However Singapore's Straits Times advanced 0.04 per cent at 3,477.75 and Shanghai Composite edged up 0.07 per cent to 5,425.20.

Wall Street shares declined moderately yesterday. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 39.10 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 13,403.42. Broader stock indicators showed somewhat steeper losses.

The Standard&Poor's 500 index fell 7.60 points, or 0.51 per cent, to 1,476.65 and the Nasdaq Composite index lost 20.52 points, or 0.79 per cent, to 2,581.66.

Crude oil prices surged to a record high above USD 81 a barrel today drawing strength from concerns of a winter supply squeeze in the world's top consumer where an anticipated interest rate cut is calming recession fears. US light crude for October delivery rose 56 cents to USD 81.13 a barrel after touching a high of USD 81.18 earlier in today's session. London Brent crude for November rose 22 cents to USD 77.20 a barrel.

UNI

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