Sensex surges 697.87 pts, Nifty gains 3.51 pc during week

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Mumbai, May 17 (UNI) The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex moved up 697.87 points or 4.17 per cent to 17434.94 during the week ended May 16, while Nifty rose 175.10 points or 3.51 per cent to 5157.70 on positive global cues.

IT, metal, bank and realty stocks provided an upward push to the benchmark index, though the market witnessed choppy sessions during the week on worries over weak industrial production data, high inflation and soaring global crude oil prices. However, the depreciating Indian currency against the US Dollar boosted export-driven IT stocks, marketmen said.

The BSE Midcap index rose 137.04 points or 1.96 per cent to 7129.70, while the Smallcap gained 114.62 points or 1.35 per cent to 8620.26.

Index frontliner, Reliance Industries (RIL), rose 4.25 per cent to Rs 2635.20. Telecom major Bharti Airtel rose 1.09 per cent to Rs 851.35. The firm is reportedly evaluating a bid for South Africa-based communication services provider MTN Group.

ICICI Bank galloped 7.68 per cent to Rs 941.15, and Hindalco Industries jumped 17.37 per cent to Rs 203.70.

Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group's Reliance Communications gained 11.65 per cent to Rs 601.85 during the week. Its telecom infrastructure subsidiary, Reliance Infratel, had secured approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for a public issue. The company may offload 10.05 per cent stake in Reliance Infratel to raise Rs 5,000-6,000 crore through the IPO, as per reports.

Ranbaxy Laboratories surged 8.79 per cent to Rs 510.70. The company has signed a deal to develop new anti-infective drugs for US-based Merck&Co Inc. As per the deal, Ranbaxy will carry out drug discovery and clinical development through Phase II clinical trials, while Merck will be responsible for the development and commercialisation.

Mahindra&Mahindra (M&M) fell 1.52 per cent to Rs 662. The company said on Friday it would hike vehicle prices in the range of 1.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent due to rise in input costs.

The price hikes will come into effect from May 19, 2008.

The current depreciation in Indian currency against the dollar generated interest in IT stocks. TCS surged 6.40 per cent to Rs 976.15, Infosys Technologies spurted 6.89 per cent to Rs 1871.19 and Wipro gained 0.99 per cent to Rs 506.15 during the week.

Market analysts expect the market to be range bound in the future session on the backdrop of high inflation, depreciation of the rupee and high oil prices.

The annual inflation based on wholesale price index (WPI) had risen to 7.83 per cent till May 3, higher than 7.61 per cent in the previous week, official data released on May 16 reveals. It is the highest since November 6, 2004, when it was quoted at 7.93 per cent. The annual inflation rate was 5.74 per cent during the corresponding week of the previous year.

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