Sensex opens firm at 17,687 points

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Mumbai, May 5: Benchmark sensitive index of BSE today resumed positive at 17,687.00 points with a small gain of 86.88 from its last close of 17,600.12 points on fresh speculative demand from Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) and some local operators.

Brokers said, ''The key heavy weight indices opened higher but soon slipped into the red after some large-caps faced selling pressure. Capital goods and consumer durables stocks edged higher. IT and auto stocks slipped. Asian markets were mostly in green as markets in Japan, and south Korea were closed for holiday. Key indices in China, Hong Kong and Singapore were up 0.04 per cent to 0.81 per cent. However, Taiwan's Taiwan Weighted Index was down 1.23 per cent.

Later, the 30-share BSE Sensex was down 11.95 points or 0.07 per cent at 17,588.17. Sensex gained 86.88 points at day's high of 17,687.00, hit at the onset of trading session. The index lost 46.4 points at day's low of 17,553.72, hit in early trade. The broader-based S&P CNX Nifty index of NSE was down 18.30 points or 0.35 per cent at 5,209.90 from its last close. However, it resumed flat at 5,227.25. The BSE Mid-Cap index rose 0.89 per cent to 7,301.91 and BSE Small-Cap index gained 0.32 per cent to 8,849.58.

India's largest private sector firm by market capitalisation and oil refiner Reliance Industries fell 0.59 per cent to Rs 2,659.20.

India's largest private sector bank by assets ICICI Bank rose 1.33 per cent to Rs 947.90. India's largest engineering and construction firm by revenue Larsen&Toubro rose 2.68 per cent to Rs 3,225.10.

The firm is reportedly set to revamp its corporate structure to create a dozen operating companies under the direction of a separate board of directors.

Effective 1 July 2008, the move will lead to L&T becoming the umbrella organisation with a board to administer the performance of all businesses and ownership of the brand, pegged at around USD2 billion.

The top Sensex gainers were, Maruti Suzuki was up 2.03 per cent at Rs 804 followed by Reliance Infrastructure by 1.75 per cent at Rs 1,549.90, Reliance Communication by 1.18 per cent at Rs 567.80, Bharat Heavy Electricals by 0.56 per cent at Rs 1,920 and Grasim Industries by 0.42 per cent at Rs 2,379.

Top Sensex losers were, State Bank of India came down 2.42 per cent to Rs 1,778, Tata Motors decreased by 1.76 per cent at Rs 678.30, Infosys Technologies by 1.17 per cent at Rs 1,768.50, Hindalco Industries by 1.10 per cent at Rs 183.80 and Wipro by 1.08 per cent at Rs 496.80. Real estate developer Housing Development and Infrastructure (HDIL) traded at the top on BSE in terms of turnover.

The HDIL stock was up 1.78 per cent at Rs 861.05 on a turnover of Rs 39.72 crore.

HDIL has reportedly got the government approval for the coveted Mumbai airport slum rehabilitation programme. HDIL will take four and half years to complete the entire slum rehabilitation. Some of the slum dwellers will be moved to a 50 acre plot at Gorai and Malwni, located close to Malad.

US market ended with modest gains on May 2, 2008 after the latest non-farm payroll data showed 20,000 jobs were lost in April 2008, a far better result than an expected loss of 75,000 jobs. Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 48.2 points or 0.4 per cent at 13,058.20, the Nasdaq Composite index fell 3.72 or 0.2 per cent, to 2,476.99 and the S&P 500 ended up 4.56 points to 1,413.90.

Crude oil for June delivery slipped seven cents at USD 116.25 a barrel, in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange in Singapore on speculation rising demand and production disruptions in Nigeria may limit supplies.

As per provisional data, FIIs purchased shares worth a net Rs 658.34 crore on May 2 2008. Domestic funds sold shares worth a net Rs 18 crore on that day.

FIIs were net buyers of Rs 1,739.41 crore in the futures and options segment on Friday, 2 May 2008. They were net buyers of index futures to the tune of Rs 1,155.03 crore and bought index options worth Rs 526.97 crore. They were net buyers of stock futures to the tune of Rs 59.43 crore and sold stock options worth Rs 2.02 crore, brokers added.

UNI

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