FIIs push Sensex up by 1,376.46 points

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Mumbai, Mar 29: The Sensitive index of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) surged by 1,376.46 points or 9.18 per cent to 16,371.29 during the week even as the S &P CNX Nifty index of National Stock Exchange (NSE) rose by 368.05 points or 8.04 pc to 4,942.

The market started the week on a buoyant note on positive cues from global markets with Sensex surging 928.09 points on March 25, its second biggest single-day gain. The expiry of March 2008 derivative contracts later kept the market volatile. However, it ended the week on a positive note, shrugging off the high inflation data announced yesterday. Buying by foreign institutional investors (FII's) supported the market. The BSE Sensex rose in 3 out of 5 trading sessions in the week.

The BSE Mid-Cap index rose 558.69 points or 9.37 per cent to 6,522.79, while the BSE Small-Cap index was up 679.78 points or 9.41 pc to 7,901.98.

FII's bought shares worth Rs 2227 crore in the first three trading sessions of the week till March 26. FII outflow in March 2008 totalled Rs 772.90 crore, till March 26. FII outflow in calendar year 2008 totalled Rs 11,749.30 crore in same period.

Mutual funds (MF)s were net sellers of shares worth Rs 2,173.50 crore this month till March 26.

The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 294.57 points or 1.96 pc at 15,289.40 on March 24. A strong rebound was witnessed in late trade.

Positive cues from the global markets supported the domestic bourses, which opened after a long weekend.

The market sentiment remained edgy on reports that Monsoon Capital LLC, a $1.20 billion hedge fund firm run by Gautam Prakash, has been hit hard by a slump in Indian stocks this year.

The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 928.09 points or 6.07 pc to 16,217.49, its second biggest single-day rally in points as well as percentage terms on March 25. The index gained 972.98 points at session's high of 16,262.38, hit at the fag end of the trade.

Buoyancy was visible across the global markets.

The rally was triggered by JP Morgan raising Bear Stearns acquisition price by 5 times and US economic data that showed US new home sales had risen 3 pc in February 2008. On the domestic front, all the sectoral indices on BSE ended higher. The market breadth was strong.

Sensex lost 130.66 points or 0.81 pc at 16,086.83 on March 26.

Mixed global cues and imminent expiry of March 2008 derivative contracts kept the market volatile throughout the day.

Concerns about the US economy, which is said to be already in recession, resurfaced following data that showed US consumer confidence had fallen to a five-year low in March 2008. Uncertainty about the US outlook kept a lid on European and Asian markets. Back home, investors turned cautious after the previous day's 6.1 pc jump.

The key indices ended the highly volatile session on a mixed note on March 27. The Nifty ended almost steady even as the Sensex declined. The imminent expiry of March 2008 derivatives contracts caused volatility. Most of the Asian indices slipped on worries that there will be more bank write-downs in the US after a prominent analyst lowered first-quarter profit forecasts for four major US banks namely--Citigroup, Bank of America Corporation, JPMorgan Chase&Co, and Wachovia, brokers said.

The key benchmark stock indices surged on March 28. Positive cues from Asian and European markets propelled the market higher with the sensex rising 355.73 points or 2.22 pc to 16,371.29. The market shrugged off a surge in inflation and overnight slide in US stocks. Capital goods stocks soared at the fag end of the session, followed by metal and IT stocks. Banking shares, which hovered in negative territory on surge in inflation, turned green at the fag end of the trading session. Mid-caps and small-caps surged with their barometer indices on BSE outperforming the Sensex.

India's largest state-run oil exploration firm in terms of revenue, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation rose 5.96 pc to Rs 1051.55.

Recent reports suggested the company would sign an agreement to develop two huge oil and gas fields in Iran. As per reports, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), through its overseas investment arm ONGC Videsh and the Hinduja Group are together eyeing a role in developing the South Pars Phase 12 gas field and the Azadegan oil asset in Iran.

India's largest truck maker by sales, Tata Motors declined by 0.69 pc to Rs 645.95 during the week. The company signed an agreement with Ford Motor Company on March 27 for buying two iconic British auto brands - Jaguar and Land Rover for USD 2.3 billion.

Reliance Communications (RCom) rose by 5.91 pc to Rs 536.40. Life Insurance Corporation raised its stake in the telecom services provider to over 5 pc. Promoters hold 66.16 pc stake in RCom.

Reliance Energy surged by 10.54 pc to Rs 1,333.65. The company said on March 25 that it will seek shareholders' nod for a buyback offer worth Rs 2,000 crore.

The FMCG major by sales Hindustan Unilever rose 7.5 pc to Rs 242.20. The reports on March 25 said it may hike prices of select brands on the back of continuous increase in raw material costs.

India's largest engineering and construction firm by sales Larsen&Toubro (L&T) rose by 10.86 pc to Rs 3,147.20. The company said on March 19 that it is set to ramp up its manufacturing capacity of super-critical boilers and super-critical turbine generators to 4000 megawatt per annum.

Infosys was up by 13.75 pc to Rs 1,526.35 followed by Reliance Industries by 8.73 pc to Rs 2,347.55, Wipro by 20.55 pc to Rs 454, ICICI Bank by 8.98 dpc to Rs 835.20, State Bank of India by 4.79 pc to Rs 1,679.65 and Tata Consultancy Services by 7.42 pc to Rs 870.10.

India's economic growth is expected at close to 9 pc in the fiscal year ending March 2008, finance minister P Chidambaram said.

He said problems stemming from the credit markets will also affect India, even though only one Indian lender had exposure to US subprime mortgages.

The Union Cabinet approved a Farmers' Debt Relief Fund with an initial corpus of Rs 10,000 crore to finance debt waiver and debt relief to farmers, which was announced in Union Budget 2008-09. The government had announced a massive Rs 60000-crore debt waiver package to farmers in the Budget.

The wholesale price index rose at 6.68 pc in the 12 months to March 15 2008, surging from the previous week's rise of 5.92 pc, government data showed. The rate is highest since January 27, 2007, when inflation was 6.69 pc.

UNI

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