Sensex fourth straight weekly gain of 474 points

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Mumbai, May 3: The 30-share BSE Sensex rallied for fourth straight week by 474.14 points or 2.76 per cent (pc) to 17,600.12, in the week ended yesterday on sustained heavy speculative demand from FIIs and Domestic Institutional Investors following possitive performances by leading companies during the fourth quarter.

Similarly, the S &P CNX Nifty index of National Stock Exchange (NSE) also rose 116.50 points or 2.27 pc to 5228.20, during the same period on renewal bull support by FIIs and local operators. Aggregate results of 988 companies showed 17.10 pc rise in net profit on 21.60 pc rise in net sales in Q4 March 2008 over Q4 March 2007, so far. There was 27.30 per cent rise in net profit on 23.40 pc rise in net sales in the year ended March 2008 over year ended March 2007.

The BSE Mid-Cap index rose 181.26 points or 2.56 pc to 7,237.47 in the week, outperforming the Sensex. The BSE Small-Cap index rose 93.99 points or 1.07pc to 8,821.71 in the week, underperforming the Sensex. In the calendar 2008, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of shares to the tune of Rs 10,358 crore (till 29 April 2008).

Trading for the week started on a weak note as investors turned cautious ahead of central bank's monetary policy meet on April 29, 2008. The 30-share BSE Sensex lost 110.02 points or 0.64 pc to 17,015.96 and the broader based S &P CNX Nifty was down 22.05 points or 0.43% at 5,089.65, on April 28, 2008.

The market advanced on April 29 2008 after the central bank kept interest rates unchanged and increasing the CRR by another 0.25 per cent. The Sensex jumped 362.50 points or 2.13 pc at 17,378.46 and the Nifty was up 105.85 points or 2.08 pc at 5,195.50 on that day.

The Sensex shed 91.15 points or 0.52 pc at 17,287.31 and the broader based S &P CNX Nifty lost 29.6 points or 0.57 pc at 5,165.90 on April 30 2008 as traders booked profit ahead of the outcome of the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting.

On Friday unmindful of the latest data putting the inflation rates at a three year high of 7.57 per cent (on April 19) continued its northward journey. Firm global markets supported domestic bourses, with the Sensex scaling 2-month high. The 30-share BSE Sensex advanced 312.81 points or 1.81 pc at 17,600.12 and the broader based S &P CNX Nifty rose 62.30 points or 1.21 pc at 5,228.20 on that day.

Software stocks rallied after Finance Minister P Chidambaram extended by a year a tax holiday scheme for export-driven software companies as he outlined some changes to the federal budget for 2008-09. The scheme for facilities based in technology parks was set to expire in March 2009.

India's second largest software exporter by sales Infosys Technologies surged 6.11 pc at Rs 1789.50 in the week, TCS by 5.73 per cent to Rs.94-.75 and Wipro saw a 7.72 per cent high at Rs.503.30, followed by Satyam Computers and Iflex solutions which gained by 11.13 per cent and 6.71 per cent respectively.

India's largest private sector company in terms of market capitalisation and oil refiner Reliance Industries (RIL) was up 1.92 pc of Rs 2674.85 in the week. The company said it had signed an agreement to buy a 90 pc stake in an exploration block in Peru. India's largest commercial bank State Bank of India vaulted 4.12 pc to Rs 1822.15 in the week. The bank reported 26 pc rise in net profit to Rs 1883 crore in Q4 March 2008 over Q4 March 2007. The results hit the market at the fag end of the trading session on May 2 2008.

India's top small car maker in terms of sales Maruti Suzuki India settled 6.88 pc higher to Rs 788 in the week. The company's sales rose 22.4 pc to 59,539 units in the domestic market compared in April 2008 over April 2007. The company's exports grew 64.5 pc during the month compared with the year-ago period.

India's largest dedicated housing finance firm by operating income Housing Development Finance Corporation gained 2.96 pc to Rs 2773.75 in the week. The company's net profit rose 39.64 pc to Rs 768.12 crore on 33.82 pc rise in total income to Rs 2,320.21 crore in Q4 March 2008 over Q4 March 2007.

India's largest telecom services provider by sales Reliance Communications slipped 2.75 pc to Rs 561.20 in the week. The company's consolidated net profit rose 70.5 pc to Rs 5401.14 crore on 31.79 pc rise in total income to Rs 19067.76 crore in the year ended March 2008 over the year ended March 2007.

UNI

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