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Updated: March 12, 2010 00:07 IST

Blue-chip counters to the fore

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Helped by overseas investors' buying interest in auto, bank and IT stocks, the Bombay Stock Exchange sensitive index, Sensex, closed higher by 108 points at 17102.60 on Monday against 16994.49 last Friday. Blue-chip counters such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Infosys, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hero Honda and SBI registered smart gains.

However, profit-booking was seen in Bharti Airtel, Reliance Industries and Hindustan Unilever after the recent rally on these counters.

The NSE 50-share Nifty breached the key resistance level of 5100-mark by adding 35.30 points at 5124 after touching a high of 5147.10 in early trade. The Sensex regained the 17000-level after a gap of three days, although it pared some of its intra-day gains of 193 points.

“With the weakening of the dollar, foreign funds are buying Indian stocks. As international markets are now in a rally mode, foreign institutional investors are focussing on emerging market stocks,” SMC Global Vice-President Rajesh Jain said. The rupee touched a two-month high of 45.46 against the greenback as foreign funds raised their India focus, pouring in over $1 billion in equities. “The market failed to sustain gains as investors booked profits in mid-session.

The market is cautious before NMDC issue, in which FIIs are waiting to put in money,” CNI Research said.

As many as 20 blue-chips advanced on the bourses. Analysts said the banking counter saw action after the tabling of the State Bank of India (Amendment Bill), 2010, which will allow the PSU lender to raise more capital from the market through share sale. The government is planning to bring down its stake in SBI to 51 per cent from the present 55 per cent. SBI gained 1.16 per cent to close at Rs. 2,070.25 on the BSE. Besides, private sector lender ICICI Bank gained 2.32 per cent to Rs. 922.75 and HDFC Bank was up 0.80 per cent at Rs. 1,780.35.

Keywords: SensexNiftyBSENiftyblue-chip

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