Sensex settles higher by 21.85 points

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Mumbai, Sept 26 (UNI) The 30-scrip Sensitive Index rose by a nominal 21.85 points on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) to settle at an all-time closing high of 16,921.39 after piercing the psychological barrier of 17,000 and striking a life-time high of 17,073.87 today.

Today's record gains were capped on account of profit-booking at higher levels. Otherwise, the market opened on an upbeat note and the Sensex struck all-time high above 17,000 in very early trade, as investors expect another cut in interest rate by the US Federal Reserve next month, after US data showed sluggish housing sales and consumer confidence.

It is pertinent to note here that it took just 5 trading sessions for the Sensex to reach the magical 17,000 level, after the barometer index first struck 16,000 on Sept 19. This 1,000-point surge is the fastest ever and it may be recollected that the previous record for the shortest 1,000-point journey was 19 days when the Sensex soared from 11,000 to 12,000 in March 2006.

''Information technology (IT) pivotals extended early gains on sustained buying after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) relaxed norms for outbound investments by mutual funds, doubled the amount of money each individual can invest overseas each year to USD 200,000 and raised the limit for companies to prepay their external loans.

This announcement, made after trading hours yesterday, is aimed to arrest the frightening appreciation of the rupee which has breached the Rs 40 to a dollar mark to touch a nine-year high against the US greenback,'' market analysts explained.

The broader National Stock Exchange (NSE) S&P CNX Nifty also ended up by a sparse 2 points at 4,940.50, after stricking an all time high of 4980.85.

The market breadth was strong on the BSE with 1,465 shares advancing as compared to 1243 that declined, while 337 remained unchanged. The BSE Mid-Cap index struck an all time high of 7,428.89 in intra-day trade and the BSE Small-Cap index hit all time high of 9, 112.06. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex, BSE data shows. BSE Bankex was the second highest gainer among the sectoral indices after the BSE IT index. Among the Sensex pack, 14 advanced while 16 declined.

Satyam Computers, Infosys, TCS, Wipro and Dr Reddy's Laboratories were the prominent gainers while Reliance Industries (RIL) Reliance Energy and Maruti Suzuki India were the other losers from the Sensex pack.

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