Sensex settles at life-time high of 17,291 pts

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Mumbai, Sept 28: For the ninth consecutive session, the bulls continued their upsurge on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), catapulting the 30-scrip Sensex up by 140.54 points to settle higher at 17,291.10 after striking another life-time high of 17,361.47, buoyed by a larger than expected drop in inflation and a healthy rollover of derivatives positions.

The wholesale price index (inflation) further slipped to 3.23 per cent in the week ended Sept 15, lower than the previous week's 3.32 per cent, due to a fall in food prices, official data released today showed.

As per market data, marketwide rollover from this month's derivatives contracts to next month's contracts was 84 per cent as compared to rollover of 82.30 per cent from the previous month's contracts to this month's contracts. Nifty rollover stood at 71 per cent as compared to rollover of 70 per cent from last month's contracts to this month's contracts.

''Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) inflows continue to reach unprecedented levels with the passage of each day. Bank stocks gained after the latest data showed inflation remained low. However, despite the market holding positive zone, market breadth, which indicates the overall health of the market, was negative on the BSE,'' market analysts pointed out adding that at the day's high of 17,361.47, the Sensex had gained 210.91 points for the day.

The broader National Stock Exchange (NSE) S&P CNX Nifty also advanced by around 21 points to settle in the green at 5,021.35, after hitting an all time high of 5055.80.

It is pertinent to note here that from a recent low of 13,989.11 on Aug 21, the Sensex has surged by 3,301.99 points in 28 trading sessions to 17,291.10 today.

However, the breadth was weak as 1,392 shares declined as compared to 1,362 that advanced and 58 remained unchanged. Among the Sensex pack 19 scrips advanced while 11 declined, BSE data shows.

Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI, Tata Steel, Reliance Energy (REL), Hindalco Industries, Cipla and Tata Motors advanced, while Bharti Airtel, ONGC, Reliance Industries (RIL), Ambuja Cements and L&T were the top losers from Sensex pack.

Banking stocks rallied in mid-afternoon trade on lower inflation and Tata Steel surged 7.17 per cent to Rs 851.55. It was the top gainer from the Sensex pack. The stock got a boost after Mr Ratan Tata, Tata Group Chairman at the UK - India conference said that the group expects to earn nearly 60 per cent of its revenue this year from its overseas operations following the acquisition of Corus Steel in UK.

Reliance Energy (REL) extended early surge to jump 7.76 per cent to Rs 1,204, after hitting an all time high of Rs 1205 on the BSE.

REL is believed to be restructuring its businesses under three verticals- utility, infrastructure and real estate.

Tata Motors, the nation's top truck and bus maker in terms of sales, rose 1 per cent to Rs 758. Deutsche Bank is bullish on the stock and has maintained buy rating with target price of Rs 920.

Reliance Industries (RIL) slipped 1.09 per cent at Rs 2295. It is reportedly laying off 1,000 staff in the country's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh after failed attempts to reopen western-style supermarkets, which closed after protests from small traders.

European markets were trading lower today. France's CAC slumped 0.32 per cent to 5,715.03, Germany's DAX slipped 0.13 per cent to 7,843 and UK's FTSE 100 sank 0.64 per cent to 6,445.03.

Asian markets were trading mixed today. South Korea's Seoul Composite rose 0.06 per cent at 1,946.80 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.29 per cent to 27,142. Japan's Nikkei sank 0.28 per cent at 16,785.69 and Taiwan's Taiwan Weighted slumped 0.02 per cent at 9,411.95 and Singapore's Straits Times slipped 0.23 per cent at 3,706.23.

US stocks extended their gains in its last trading session with a moderate advance as investors weighed fresh economic data, including a sharp drop in new home sales, for clues to whether more interest rate cuts are in the offing. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 34.79 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 13,912.94. It is now 87 points below its record close of 14,000.41 set on July 19, this year. The broader Standard&Poor's 500 index rose 5.96 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 1,531.38 , and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite index rose 10.56 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 2,709.59.

Crude oil extended gains for a third day today to above USD 83 a barrel, nearing its record high as a weak dollar and pre-winter supply worries fuelled fund buying. US crude for November delivery rose 30 cents to USD 83.18 a barrel. Oil is recovering from a profit-taking dip earlier this week that pulled prices off their USD 83.90 peak. London Brent crude rose 30 cents to USD 80.33 a barrel.


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