Sensex, Nifty hits record highs, positive rally to continue

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Mumbai, Jan 5: The benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty ended the first week of the new year at positive note, hitting record highs triggred by strong buying interest of domestic investors.

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) sensitive index climbed 479.94 points, or 2.34 per cent, to hit life-time closing high at 20,686.89 riding on the strong rally in index heavy-weights in the week ended January 4, 2008. Meanwhile, the Nifty index of National Stock Exchange (NSE) gained 135.70 points, or 2.21 per cent, to hit fresh record closing-high at 6274.30 in the week.

Market may further extend the gains in the future sessions on the account of good expectations in third quarterly results as well as sustained inflows through domestic and foreign investors.

However, concerns over slower global growth and record high crude oil prices may cap gains, market analysts opined.

BSE Small-cap and Mid-cap stocks are expected to continue their rally following the momentum of buying, as indicated by strong market breadth in the past few days, analysts added.

The BSE Small-Cap index surged 982.82 points, or 7.62 per cent, to 13,884.11 and the Mid-Cap index gained 538.49 points, or 5.62 per cent, to 10,113.06 in the week.

Frontliner stocks, Reliance Industries gained 3.02 per cent to Rs 2985.85, ICICI Bank went up 4.75 per cent to Rs 1,285.35, National Thermal Power Corporation surged 12.57 per cent to Rs 271.75 in the week.

Reliance Energy (REL) gained 16.47 per cent to Rs 2510.35.

Reliance Power (RPL), in which REL holds 50 per cent stake, plans to raise as much as USD 3 billion through country's biggest initial public offering. Reliance Power will hit the capital market on January 15 with 26 crore shares at a fixed price band of Rs 405 to Rs 450 per share.

Housing Development Finance Company (HDFC) went up by 6.41 per cent to Rs 3111.30 in the week. ITC jumped 6.84 per cent to Rs 219.55. As per reports, ITC's subsidiary Fortune Park Hotels plans to invest around Rs 130 crore in three or four hotels in Bangalore, Coimbatore and Kolkata.

Bharti Airtel ended the week with marginal gain. While, Infosys Technologies declined 5.62 per cent in the week, Maruti Suzuki India fell 2 per cent to Rs 964.50 in the week after the company said it will raise prices of some vehicles by 2-3 per cent in January 2008 because of higher raw material costs.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Wednesday, January 2, 2008 announced that institutional investors would be permitted to commence short-selling on the bourses from next month.

Short-selling was banned since 2001 in the wake of the Ketan Parekh stock market scam. After a six-year gap, the Reserve Bank of India gave the go-ahead to foreign institutional investors (FIIs) earlier this week to enter into this mode of blank transactions on the bourses.


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