Sensex opens firm at 17,251.56 pts, up by 125 pts

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Mumbai, Apr 28: Benchmark Sensex of BSE today resumed positive at 17,251.56 points with a big gain of 125.58 from its last close of 17,125.98 on fresh speculative demand from FIIs and some local operators.

Brokers said, selective heavy weight stocks opened on a firm note extending last week's rally. It soon declined into the red, amid mixed Asian markets. Banking and auto stocks rose ahead of Reserve Bank of India's annual monetary policy review tomorrow, 29 April 2008. Metal stocks were mixed following reports the government plans to rejoin the duty structure to rein in surging steel prices.

The market breadth was positive. Later, the 30-share BSE Sensex was down 37.80 points or 0.23 per cent at 17,086.17. Sensex hit a high of 17,271.56 in early trade. At the day's high, Sensex rose 145.58 points. It soon declined to hit a low of 17,042.97 during the mid-morning session.

Broader-based S&P CNX Nifty index of NSE was down 6.85 points or 0.13 per cent at 5,104.85. The index resumed flat at 5112.50 points. It recorded the day's high at 5117.45 and a low at 5093.15 points in mid session. BSE Mid-Cap index rose by 0.24 per cent to 7073.30 and BSE Small-Cap index rose by 0.29 per cent to 8,752.89.

Banking stocks rose. India's largest private sector bank by assets ICICI Bank gained by 0.74 per cent to Rs 924.90. India's second largest private sector bank in terms of net profit HDFC Bank rose by 0.79 per cent to Rs 1509.90. However India's largest commercial bank State Bank of India declined 0.98 per cent to Rs 1,732.90.

Auto Stocks edged higher. India's largest tractor maker by sales Mahindra&Mahindra rose 0.38 per cent to Rs 638.15. The board of Mahindra&Mahindra will meet on Saturday, 3 May 2008 to consider a proposal for a private placement of securities. Maruti Suzuki India increased 0.5 per cent to Rs 740.90, Hero Honda Motors was up by 1.37 per cent to Rs 818.40.

India's largest truck maker by sales Tata Motors declined 0.25 per cent to Rs 637.50. Metal stocks were mixed. Sesa Goa surged 8.34 per cent to Rs 3,791.85. The board of Sesa Goa will meet today, 28 April 2008 to consider a stock split and bonus share issue. Sterlite Industries rose by 4.08 per cent to Rs 871.30 followed by Steel Authority of India by 1.44 per cent to Rs 180 edged higher. Bharti Airtel was up by 1.99 per cent to Rs 943.70, HDFC gained 0.78 per cent to Rs 2,714.90, followed by NTPC that rose 0.39 per cent to Rs 193.35 edged higher from Sensex pack.

Satra Properties India rose 1.2 per cent to Rs 84. The board of Satra Properties India has approved investing up to Rs 5 crore in a real estate partnership firm. Fedders Lloyd Corporation rose by 3.23 per cent to Rs 64 after its board approved diversification into steel fabrication, design and erection and expansion of business activities of the company in the area of district cooling.

India Infoline gained by 0.44 per cent to Rs 992. The board of India Infoline approved splitting each share of Rs 10 each into five shares of Rs 2 each. Further, the board also recommended a dividend of Rs 6 per share of Rs 10 each.

But Tata Steel was down by 0.64 per cent to Rs 798.15, Hindalco Industries eased by 0.56 per cent to Rs 187.95 and National Aluminium Company came down by 0.52 per cent to Rs 444 edged lower.

Wipro was down by 1.33 per cent to Rs 460, Infosys came down by 1.03 per cent to Rs 1,669.05, Satyam Computer Services eased by 0.55 per cent to Rs 442 and Tata Consultancy Services eased by 0.82 per cent to Rs 882.50 edged lower from Sensex pack.

The next two-three days may see the market remain in a wait and watch mode because of important events. RBI is set to unveil annual monetary policy review on Tuesday, 29 April 2008. Given that the high inflation, the central bank may hike key rates. The stock market has factored in a 25 basis points hike in short term rates by RBI.

Meanwhile, the two-day discussion on Finance Bill 2008-09 begins in Lok Sabha today. Finance Bill will be passed in Lok Sabha tomorrow.

The two-day US Federal Reserve policy meeting ends on April 2008.

The market expects the Fed to cut interest rates by 25 basis points to 2 per cent and then signal that its rate-cutting cycle may be over for now, brokers added.

UNI

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