Sensex finally pips the Dow

Mumbai, March 29 | Updated: Mar 30 2006, 05:30am hrs
The 30-share Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) gained nearly 100 points on Wednesday and has now moved past the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) of the US. The Sensex closed at 11,183, after touching a new intra-day high of 11,197.64. On the other hand, the Dow lost 95.57 points at the end of Tuesday's trading session to close at 11,154.54. However, at the time of going to press, Dow was trading at 11,169.43.

The broader S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) settled the day at 3,354.20, up 29.20 points. The expiry of the derivative contracts that will happen on Thursday also pushed the index further northwards.

Analysts, however, say, that even though the Sensex may have crossed the Dow, it is in no way comparable to the US index. "Technology stocks took the Sensex northwards on Wednesday. The index has just crossed the Dow in absolute terms. If one takes into account the market capitalisation, the Sensex is just one-tenth of the Dow," said the research head of a domestic brokerage.

Interestingly, the market breadth took a U-turn on Wednesday after remaining negative for the past few days. On BSE, a total of 1,653 stocks gained ground as against only 840 losers. The BSE Smallcap index gained more than 2% or nearly 130 points.

The BSE Metal index may have gained just 79.70 points on Wednesday, but it has moved up by a massive 852.80 points (11.02%) in the last one week. The surge has been on the back of steel stocks like Tata Steel, Sail and Jindal Steel.

The turnover witnessed a sharp fall after touching record levels on the previous two occasions. The turnover on BSE and NSE was pegged at Rs 4,241.83 crore and Rs 8,043.94 crore, respectively. FIIs were net buyers at Rs 371.70 crore in the cash market on Tuesday. In the F&O segment, they were net sellers at Rs 157.42 crore.

Among the Sensex pack, 23 stocks gained ground with Gujarat Ambuja Cements Ltd, Satyam Computers, Infosys Technologies, Wipro, Bhel, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank all ending the day in the black.