Sensex does an about-turn after three-day losing streak

Mumbai, April 20 | Updated: Apr 21 2005, 05:54am hrs
The stock markets snapped a three-day losing streak on Wednesday, as a couple of good corporate results along with buying interest in auto and metal stocks at lower levels helped the benchmark indices end in the black.

The Sensex gained 108.9 points at 6,243.74. The 50-share S&P CNX Nifty also moved up 20.3 points to close at 1,929.70.

The Stock Exchange, Mumbai (BSE) opened the day at 6,169.83 and touched a high of 6,259.28 and low of 6,151.26 before closing with a gain of 1.77%.

R Srishankar, head of research at IL&FS Investsmart, said, The markets are volatile and Wednesdays rise can best be termed a technical bounce-back.

Although the Sensex ended in the black, the market undertone remained negative with declines at 1,229 stocks outnumbering advances at 1,043.89, and ended the day on a flat note. The turnover at BSE and NSE was pegged higher at Rs 2,057.29 crore and Rs 4,583.87 crore, respectively. The turnover at BSE last crossed the Rs 2,000-crore mark on April 7.

FIIs were net sellers on Tuesday at Rs 124.10 crore after being net sellers at Rs 1,031.1 crore crore on Monday and last Friday.

Among the sectoral indices, BSE Metal outperformed the markets, registering a 2.96% gain. Tata Steel (up 4.13% at Rs 363.40), SAIL (up 0.91% at Rs 55.45) and Hindustan Zinc (3.35% at Rs 163.60) ended in the black. Uttam Galva Steel was frozen at the 5% upper limit at Rs 57.85 after the company announced a 296.8% rise in its net profit for FY05.

Buying interest was conspicuous also in the auto counters. The BSE Auto index moved up over 2%. Sensex heavyweights like Hero Honda (up 5.77% at Rs 515), Tata Motors (up 4% at Rs 433.25) and Maruti Udyog (up 3.89% at Rs 429.15) helped lift the index.

Sensex constituent Gujarat Ambuja Cements gained 0.51% at Rs 423.85 after the company announced a stock split and bonus of 1:2 shares. Tech stocks witnessed a mixed trend on Wednesday. Tata Consultancy shed 6.17% at Rs 1,115.65. The stock had lost more than 7% on Tuesday after it announced a fall in its net profit on a quarter-on-quarter basis.