BSE Sensex soars up by 417.74 points

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Mumbai, Feb 4: The Sensex today surged by 417.74 points to end higher at 18,660.32 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on sustained heavy speculative buying support in select stocks in view of strong advice from Asian markets. A few key stocks, led by Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), surged for the second straight day in volatile trade on continued buying support in index pivotals.

The market gained ground in afternoon trade, extending early gains as Asian stocks rose with the sentiment boosted by Microsoft Corp's bid for Yahoo Inc and China buying a large stake in takeover target Rio Tinto. However, it turned volatile in mid-afternoon trade and pared some gains as two index heavyweights, Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank eased from day's highs. European markets, which opened after Indian markets, were trading slightly higher.

The Finance Ministry recently sought views from the public and other stakeholders on a set of measures, proposed to strengthen the existing listing requirements. The Government now proposes to stipulate a public stake of 25 per cent for a company to be listed and to continue to be listed on the stock exchanges.

The 30-share BSE Sensex rose by 417.74 points or 2.29 per cent at 18,660.32. It opened 253.45 points higher at 18,496.03 and surged to hit a high of 18,895.34 in afternoon trade. At day's high it gained 652.76 points. It slipped to a day's low of 18,439.33 points.

The broader CNX S&P Nifty was also up 146.25 points or 2.75 per cent at 5,463.50 at the end of the session. Nifty February 2008 futures were at 5478, a premium of 14.50 points as compared to spot closing.

The BSE Mid-Cap index was up 3.14 per cent to 8,004.91, while the BSE Small-Cap was up 2.88 per cent at 10,362.37. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

The total turnover on BSE amounted to Rs 5743 crore as compared to Rs 5,578.94 crore on the previous day.

The total turnover on NSE's futures&options segment amounted to Rs 40169.33 crore as compared to Rs 35830.69 crore last Friday.

All sectoral indices on BSE settled higher. BSE Metal index was up by 3.32 per cent to 16,438.19, followed by IT index by 4.15 per cent at 4,097.61, BSE TecK index by 4.48 per cent to 3,573.55, Oil&Gas index by 2.45 per cent at 11,293.36, Power by 2.58 per cent to 3,890.57, BSE Realty index by 6.53 per cent at 10,513.46, PSU index by 3.36 per cent to 8,658.29, Auto by 2.05 per cent at 5,107.70, FMCG index by 0.87 per cent at 2,244.44 and Bankex by 2.03 per cent at 11,110.91.

India's second largest listed telecom firm by sales Reliance Communications (RCom) galloped 13.01 per cent to Rs 691.40 on 35.23 lakh shares. It was the top gainer from Sensex pack. Reliance Infratel, a subsidiary of RCom, has filed its draft red herring prospectus for an initial public offer (IPO) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). The company will offer 8,91,64,100 shares of Rs 5 each for cash, constituting 10.05 per cent of its post-issue paid-up equity capital.

Reliance Industries rose 2.22 per cent to Rs 2598.20. 6.93 lakh shares changed hands on the counter on BSE. The stock moved in a range of Rs 2562 and Rs 2643 during the day.

ICICI Bank, the country's largest private sector bank in terms of net profit, slipped from day's high of Rs 1245.20. It was up 1.11 per cent to Rs 1211.
Andhra Bank rose by 4.57 per cent to Rs 96.20 followed by Bank of Baroda by 3.76 per cent to Rs 421, Bank of India by 3.68 per cent to Rs 377.60, Canara Bank by 7.25 per cent to Rs 317.20, Oriental Bank of Commerce by 10.44 per cent to Rs 273.50 and Vijaya Bank by 4.61 per cent to Rs 69.25.

DLF, the largest real estate developer in terms of market capitalisation, advanced 9.89 per cent to Rs 894. The stock will replace Glaxosmithkline Pharmaceuticals, in S&P CNX Nifty index from March 14.

Among other shares from real estate sector, Unitech rose by 5.77 per cent to Rs 394.30, Sobha Developers was up 8.46 per cent to Rs 810.10 and HDIL went up by 7.42 per cent to Rs 987.

IT stocks extended last Friday's gains after Microsoft on Friday made a USD 45 billion bid for Yahoo Inc. Infosys Technologies was up 3.39 per cent to Rs 1645), TCS by 4.17 per cent to Rs 968.10 and Satyam Computers by 3.33 per cent to Rs 435.05.

India's third largest software services exporter Wipro soared 6.11 per cent to Rs 464 on reports the company plans to build electronic warfare systems, radars and flight simulators locally for US defence contractors.

Shares from mid-cap IT pack--i flex Solutions also hardened by 6.56 per cent to Rs 1135 followed by Tech Mahindra by 6.61 per cent to Rs 799, Rolta India by 25.95 per cent to Rs 318, NIIT Technologies by 3.10 per cent to Rs 114.75, and Polaris Sofware Lab by 5.25 per cent to Rs 90.40.

Tata Motors, the country's largest truck manufacturer in terms of sales, rose 2.10 per cent to Rs 770.05 on good market reports.

Steel stocks were higher on reports of price hike. Tata Steel gained 3.93 per cent to Rs 807, and Steel Authority of India (Sail) rose 2.26 per cent to Rs 231. Tata Steel has increased the prices of hot rolled (HR) coils by Rs 2,000-2,500 per tonne, while Steel Authority of India Ltd (Sail) has hiked prices by Rs 1,500-2,500 per tonne.

Oil&Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) saw high volatility today.

It slipped sharply from day's high of Rs 1121.90 to day's low of Rs 1032. It settled 1.87 per cent higher at Rs 1064.

As per reports, British oil major British Gas is all set to pick up a 30 per cent stake in ONGC's Krishna Godawari basin block and 25 per cent in Mahanadi basin block.

But a few scrips drifted lower on profit booking by local operators. India's top small car maker in terms of sales Maruti Suzuki India slipped 1.30 per cent to Rs 893. It was the top loser from the Sensex pack.

Reliance Energy was also down 0.69 per cent to Rs 2001, followed by ITC by 0.17 per cent to Rs 2040.50, HDFC Bank by 1.03 per cent to Rs 1551.10, were the other losers from the Sensex pack.

Future Capital Holdings was the most active counter on BSE with a turnover of Rs 533.35 crore followed by Reliance Communication (Rs 234.93 crore), Reliance Natural Resources (Rs 215.23 crore), Reliance Energy (Rs 202.15 crore) and Reliance Industries (Rs 180.93 crore) in that order.

UNI

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