Cement and steel shares rally

MUMBAI: Infrastructure and power equipment sectors on Wednesday carried the Bombay Stock Exchange indices to dizzy heights, even as the benchmark Sensex crossed the 10,500-level following hectic purchases by foreign and local funds.

The 30-share index (Sensex) recorded a huge rise of 195.23 points, the second highest post-budget gains since 1997, when it had spurted by 205.58 points on March 1.

Crediting the upswing to buying spree by institutional investors, brokers said the main trigger for the dramatic rally in cement, construction, power equipment and steel shares was the large 54 per cent increase in the allocation for Bharat Nirman Programme, considered good for macro level.

The Sensex rallied sharply after opening steady at 10,368.75 and scaled a new intra-trade peak of 10,573.29 before closing the day at an all-time peak of 10,565.47 against Tuesday's close of 10,370.24, up by 1.88 per cent.

In sectoral indices, the BSE CG index soared by 194.97 points or 2.64 per cent to 7594.03 and the BSE Auto index by 177.85 points or 3.56 per cent to 5176.53. PTI