Sensex hit a high of 16,778.59 in early trade

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Mumbai, Apr 21: The Benchmark index of Bombay stock exchange opened with a gain of 130 points at 16,611.41 and advanced further to hit a high of 16,778.59 in the day's early trade. The market opened higher today, as buoyant global cues overshadowed a steep 50 basis points hike in cash reserve ratio (CRR) announced by the Reserve Bank of India late on April 17.

The S &P CNX Nifty index scaled past the 5,000 level in early trade. The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 243.00 points or 1.45 per cent at 16,724.97. The broader based S &P CNX Nifty was up 75.35 points or 1.52 per cent at 5,033.75. The market breadth was strong. All the 30-member from the Sensex pack advanced. Software pivotals extended previous weeks rally boosted by good future guidance from Infosys Technologies last week.

India's third largest software services exporter Wipro surged 3.90 per cent to Rs 477.10 and was the top gainer from Sensex pack. Wipro on Friday, reported three per cent growth in its net profit to Rs 880 crore. With uncertainty in the business environment, the company is conservative about forecasts. For the first quarter of fiscal 2009, Wipro expects revenue from combined IT services to be USD 1,060 million.

Other IT pivotals- Infosys up by 0.58 per cent to Rs 1676.15, Satyam Computer Services up by 1.87 per cent to Rs 477.70 and TCS up by 2.40 per cent to Rs 1,024.95.

India's largest private sector company in terms of market capitalisation and oil refiner Reliance Industries rose 1.18 per cent to Rs 2,668. The company will declare its quarterly results today.

Bharti Airtel was up by 3.25 per cent to Rs 850 and Grasim Industries was down by 2.80 per cent to Rs 2640.05 in the the Sensex pack.

Banking shares were trading higher despite hike in the cash reserve ratio. ICICI Bank was up 1.51 per cent to Rs 851, State Bank of India was up 0.01 per cent to Rs 1,683, and HDFC Bank was up by 0.54 per cent to Rs 1,404.

Asian stocks surged on hopes the worst was over for the banking sector following the top US lender Citigroup's announcement of a quarterly loss of USD 5.1 billion and plans to cut another 9,000 jobs.

Asian markets were trading higher today. Japan's Nikkei was up by 1.64 per cent at 13,697.69, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up by 2.49 per cent at 24,801.91, Singapore's Straits Times up by 1.93 per cent at 3,185.33 and South Korea's Seoul Composite was up by 1.58 per cent at 1,799.22.

However, Taiwan's Taiwan Weighted slipped 0.08 per cent at 9,067.47.

The unscheduled CRR rate hike comes ahead of RBI's annual credit policy for 2008-09 to be unveiled on April 29.

The RBI joined the government in battling the skyrocketing inflation. The wholesale price index rose 7.14 per cent in the tewleve months on April 5, as per latest data. This was slower than the previous week's annual rise of 7.41 per cent.

As a result of the increase in CRR, about Rs 18,500 crore of bank's resources would be taken out of the system.

US markets surged on April 18, as Citigroup, Google and Caterpillar posted results that topped analyst's estimates.

The Dow Jones rose up 1.81 per cent to 12,849.36, the Nasdaq Composite index surged 2.61 per cent to 2,402.97. The S &P 500 gained 24.77 points at 1,390.33.

UNI

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