Sensex ends firm at 17,650.57 points

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Mumbai, Feb 25: The Sensex zoomed up by 301.50 points to close higher at 17,650.57 on the Bombay Stock Exchange today on heavy speculative demand from Foreign Institutional Investors and mutual fund operators along with bullish advice from global markets.

Dealers said the benchmark indices, which had surged in mid-afternnon trade, extended its gains in late trade as heavyweight Reliance Industries surged ahead. The Market breadth was weak. Cement pivotals spurted along with Oil&Gas and IT stocks. 25 stocks from the 30-member sensex pack were also in the green. The European markets, which opened after Indian markets, were strong and Asian markets were mostly in green.

Japan's Nikkei, Taiwan's Taiwan Weighted index, Singapore's Straits Times index, South Korea's Seoul Composite rose between 0.64-3.07 per cent (pc). However, China's Shanghai Composite index declined 4.07 pc to 4,192.53 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.15 pc to 23,269.14.

European markets opened strong. France's CAC 40, Germany's DAX and UK's FTSE 100 were up between 1.41-1.84 pc.

Reliance Power surged by 8.05 per cent to Rs 450.40 on BSE after the declaration of bonus issue, a tad above its IPO price of Rs 450.

This is the first time the stock is trading at a premium as compared to issue price of Rs 450 per share. On its listing on February 11, the stock debuted on at Rs 547.80 and hit a high of Rs 599.90. However, barely within minutes, it started declining and slipped to a discount. The stock surged today after its board-approved issue of three bonus shares for every five held, to compensate for the slump in the stock price post listing. The Reliance Power counter saw high volumes of 1.77 crore shares on BSE.

The 30-share BSE Sensex ended up 301.50 points or 1.74 per cent at 17,650.57. Earlier, it opened 174.74 points up. It hit a high of 17,674.06 in late trade. At day's high, Sensex gained 324.99 points. It hit a low of 17,137.99 in mid-morning trade. At the day's low, the Sensex lost 211.08 points.

The broader based S&P CNX Nifty index of National Stock Exchange (NSE) also rose by 89.95 points or 1.75 pc at 5,200.70.

The market breadth was weak. On BSE, 1,610 shares declined as compared to 1,064 that advanced. 45 shares remained unchanged.

The BSE select Indices were in limelight as Oils&Gas index shot up sharply by 384.38 points to close high at 11,057.38 points, followed by METAL index by 161.22 to 16,530.16 points, CG index by 144.11 to 15,800.27 points, Realty index by 108.17 points, PSU index by 99.13 to 8308.37 points and IT index by 3992.54 points.

But Mid-Cap index declined by 0.09 pc to 7,587.58 and BSE Small-Cap index down 0.67 pc to 9,530.69, brokers added.

From the heavyweight Sensex pack, ACC was up by 5.9 pc to Rs 818.35, followed by Ambuja Cements by 4.43 pc to Rs 122.55, Reliance Energy by 4.29 pc to Rs 1,622.70 and Grasim Industries by 4.21 pc to Rs 2,012.

Oil&Gas stocks rose. India's largest private sector firm by market capitalization and oil refiner Reliance Industries (RIL) rose 4.54 pc to Rs 2,540. As per reports, Reliance Retail is locked in 'substantial' discussions to float an equal joint venture with iconic UK fashion retailer Marks&Spencer (M&S) for apparels, gourmet food and cafes.

Cairn India was up by 2.52 pc to Rs 211.55, Gail India gained by 4.56 pc to Rs 407 and ONGC rose by 1.2 pc to Rs 1,010.

Tata Motors went up by 1.66 pc to Rs 706.20. It has reportedly started the process of raising nearly USD 2.5 billion, mostly from the overseas markets, by giving the mandate to a group of banks. A large chunk of this fund is expected to be utilised to purchase luxury British brands Jaguar and Land Rover from the US carmarker Ford, the reports added.

Infosys moved up by 2.4 pc to Rs 1,618.05 followed by Wipro by 3.74 pc to Rs 438.20 and Satyam Computer Services by 2.32 pc to Rs 449 edged higher.

Bharat Heavy Electricals rose by 1.27 pc to Rs 2,085.10 but Tata Consultancy Services declined 0.25 pc to Rs 895.254. The company and the Nasdaq-listed Cognizant are reportedly in a race to acquire the billion-dollar systems integration business (SI) of Germany-based T-Systems, which is the IT solutions unit of Deutsche Telekom, Europe's telecommunications giant.

Consumer Durable stocks declined. Videocon Industries was down by 1.52 pc to Rs 421.40, Blue Star eased by 3.33 pc to Rs 469.05, Titan Industries came down by 2.55 pc to Rs 1,161.05 and Lloyd Electric dropped by 2.52 pc to Rs 124.

Banking stocks recovered. Indian bank unions called off a planned two-day strike that was due to start on Monday after the unions and banking officials decided to meet next month to resolve their differences.

HDFC Bank declined by 3.54 pc to Rs 1,422.70. The Board of Centurion Bank of Punjab (CBoP) at the meeting held on February 23 had given an in-principle approval for a merger of CBoP with HDFC Bank.

The board of CBoP met today to consider the terms of the merger including swap ratio after receipt of the valuation reports.

Centurion Bank of Punjab declined 14.45 pc to Rs 48.25. and State Bank of India was up by 0.61 pc to Rs 2,127.55 along with ICICI Bank up by 0.97 pc to Rs 1,110.05.

Bajaj Auto was down by 4.04 pc to Rs 2,202.95, Hindustan Unilever by 0.16 pc to Rs 215.40 and Mahindra&Mahindra eased by 0.03 pc to Rs 628.60.



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