Sensex opens firm at 18,727.90 pts; up by 235 pts

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Mumbai, Oct 24 (UNI) The BSE sensitive index today resumed high at 18,727.90 points with a big gain of around 235 points from its last close of 18,492.84 points on fresh bull support from FIIs and some Mutual Fund operators in view of bullish advice from Asian markets.

Brokers said, ''Opening on an upbeat note on continued buying interest in blue-chip stocks tracking firm global markets, the benchmark BSE Sensex surged over 18,800 points in opening trade. But it retracted sharply on selling pressure amid a bout of volatility.

The market breadth was strong.'' Later, the Sensex was up by 76.61 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 18,569.45 points. It had opened higher at 18,727.90 and rallied further to strike an intra-day high of 18, 832.49 so far during the day before slipping to a low of 18,560.80 points.

The Sensex had struck an all-time high of 19,198.66 on October 18 2007.

The broader based S&P CNX Nifty index of NSE was up by 23.95 points, or 0.44 per cent, at 5,497.65, before it opened high at 5477.60 against 5473.70 on previous day's close.

Reliance Energy, country's second largest power utility company by sales, surged by 5.31 per cent to Rs 1604 on 5.43 lakh shares. It was the top gainer from the Sensex pack. The stock surged after Chairman Anil Ambani informed media that Reliance Power will be valued nearly two times its holding company, Reliance Energy, after the mega Initial Public Offer. In its prospectus, Reliance Power said that it will dilute 11.5 per cent of the post-issue equity.

India's fourth largest software services exporter, Satyam Computer Services gained by 3.78 per cent to Rs 479.25. Before market hours yesterday, it reported a rise in net profit by 7.19 per cent to Rs 417.15 crore on a 10.75 per cent increase in sales to Rs 1948.24 crore in Q2 September 2007 over Q1 June 2006.

India's largest listed cellular services provider by sales, Bharti Airtel advanced by 2.15 per cent to Rs 1,027. The stock climbed up on value buying after a sharp recent fall, hit by concerns that the launch of nation-wide GSM services by rival Reliance Communications will eat into its market share.

Meanwhile, Reliance Communications rose by 1.01 per cent to Rs 763.10. On October 19, 2007, it got the Government's nod to launch nation-wide GSM-based cellular services from the Department of Telecom (DoT).

ACC was up by 2.35 per cent to Rs 1090.15, followed by HDFC by 2 per cent to Rs 2,617, and Tata Steel by 2.31 per cent to Rs 916.10 .

India's largest private sector entity by market capitalisation and oil refiner, Reliance Industries (RIL) expanded by 0.15 per cent to Rs 2,605.50 on 1.85 lakh shares. It hit an intra-day high of Rs 2,651 in early trade. As part of a restructuring exercise, RIL has reportedly decided to hive off Reliance Fresh into a separate company, Ranger Farm, for single point accountability. Reliance Fresh sells food, fruits and vegetables and consumer products.

India's largest cigarette manufacturer, ITC lost by 0.62 per cent to Rs 183.90 on 76,266 shares. It was the top loser from the Sensex pack.

Dr Reddy's was down by 0.46 per cent to Rs 632 and ONGC by 0.63 per cent to Rs 1,137 was the other loser.

Asian markets advanced today as Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 1.64 per cent at 29,857.49, Japan's Nikkei by 0.78 per cent at 16,578.59, Taiwan Weighted by 1.08 per cent at 9,605.43, South Korea's Seoul Composite by 2.33 per cent at 1,993.32 and Singapore's Straits Times by 0.81 per cent at 3,725.26.

Wall Street shares ended with a spurt yesterday, as investors uneasy about the economy were reassured by solid earnings from blue chips including Apple and American Express Company. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged by 109.26 points, or 0.81 per cent, to 13,676.23. The Standard&Poor's 500 index rose by 13.26 points, or 0.88 per cent, to 1,519.59 while the Nasdaq Composite index gained by 45.33 points, or 1.65 per cent, to 2,799.26.

Volatility is expected to remain high ahead of expiry of October 2007 derivatives contracts on tomorrow. As per market data, market-wide roll over of derivative positions from October 2007 series to November 2007 series was 42 per cent while Nifty rollover was 47 per cent.

The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) mid-term review of annual policy due on October 30, 2007 and US Federal Reserve's meeting on October 31, 2007 on interest rates will be key events that will drive the market, brokers added.


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