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Sensex extends gains

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RCom surges on speculation of sale of Reliance Infratel

The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index, Sensex, on Wednesday closed up by 30 points to extend gains for the second day in a row, helped by abating political worries and softening global crude oil prices.

After a highly volatile trade, the 30-share barometer settled at 18469.95, a gain of 30.30 points from its last close. The index touched a high of 18583.30. However, early sharp gains attracted profit-booking and the barometer fell by over 130 points in the day trade, marketmen said.

ADA group company Reliance Communications surged by 9.36 per cent to Rs.99.30 on speculations that the company is selling its tower business Reliance Infratel. Another speculation of RCom bagging Rs.8,700-crore loan from China Development Bank also helped the share rise, marketmen said.

Gains in index heavyweight Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank capped the losses and helped the barometer close in the positive region.

Market leader Reliance Industries (RIL) rose by 0.97 per cent to Rs.993.90 on reports of higher gas output from the D6 block in Krishna-Godavari basin by April this year. ICICI Bank gained 1.24 per cent to close at Rs.1,033.55. Brokers said investor confidence improved after the Congress and its ally, the DMK, clinched a seat-sharing deal for the forthcoming Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, putting to rest political concerns

A drop in global crude oil prices after signs of rise in crude oil output by major producing nations also capped the concerns over interest rate hike, they added.

Most Asian stocks ended marginally higher after oil crude prices retreated and Japanese machinery orders rose more than expected in January. Key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, China and South Korea rose by about 0.03-0.61 per cent while Singapore's Straits Times fell by 0.35 per cent. However, European markets were subdued in early trade as investors remained on edge because of the turmoil in the Middle East and worries about European sovereign debt problems. The key benchmark indices in U.K., Germany and France were down by between 0.06 per cent and 0.27 per cent.

The NSE 50-share Nifty moved up by 10.20 points to 5531. Among major gainers, Reliance Infra rose by 2.37 per cent to Rs.620.50, Bajaj Auto by 2.27 per cent to Rs.1,418.20, DLF by 1.33 per cent to Rs.225.30, Jaiprakash Associates by 1.19 per cent to Rs.85.25 and Hero Honda by 1.01 per cent to Rs.1,533.45.

However, Cipla declined by 1.74 per cent to Rs.302.15 followed by Sterlite by 1.19 per cent to Rs.166.55, NTPC by 1.03 per cent to Rs.178.05 , Jindal Steel by 0.69 per cent to Rs.666.75, HUL by 0.66 per cent to Rs.279.60 and Infosys 0.62 per cent to Rs.3,095.25.

The total market breadth continued to remain positive as 1,645 stocks gained ground while 1,218 finished with losses on the BSE.

Rupee recovers

The rupee recovered by 8 paise at 45.00/01 against the U.S. currency on fresh sale of dollars by banks amid a firm trend in the equity market, despite gains registered by the dollar overseas. It closed at 45.08/09 on Tuesday. — PTI

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