VR Logo

End of the Cup of Woes

The markets finally showed an upward trend past week

There was a time when they were discarded with disdain, but times have changed and they are back in vogue. The IT and pharmaceutical stocks had a fine time last week as the rupee retested the 42-43 levels.

It appears as if life has come a full circle for the IT and pharma stocks. Veterans watched the IT and pharma stocks creeping up with a distinct sense of déjà vu. As far as the Sensex is concerned, it continued to oscillate in the 16,500-17,500 levels. Both the Sensex and the Nifty are now above the 17,000 and 5,000 levels respectively.

On the last trading session, Sensex closed the day at 17,434, up 0.471 per cent or 81 points after hitting an intraday high of 17,497. The Nifty touched an intraday high of 5,167 before ending the day at 5,457, up 0.83 per cent or 42 points. Overall, the market remained upbeat on a weekly basis; the Sensex was up 4.17 per cent and the Nifty up 3.51 per cent.

Hindalco , Suzlon , SAIL , Reliance Communications and Punjab National Bank were the major gainers, up 19 per cent, 13 per cent, 12 per cent, 12 per cent and 13 per cent respectively. Among the losers, ONGC was down 8 per cent, BPCL down 4.2 per cent, ACC down 4.8 per cent and Bajaj Holdings down 4.6 per cent.

The markets didn’t pay heed to the inflation numbers, this time as well. The inflation rate accelerated to a 44-month high of nearly 8 per cent on Friday, dealing a fresh blow to the government which fears a voter backlash. The Annual inflation climbed to 7.83 per cent for the week ended May 16 from 7.61 per cent the previous week.

The CNX mid-cap Index was up by 2.5 per cent and the BSE small-cap Index was up by 1.3 per cent for the week ended May 16, 2008. Among the sectoral indices, BSE Metal Index was up 9.5 per cent, BSE IT and Bankex were up 5 per cent each. The Capital Goods index was up 4.2 per cent and Healthcare Index up 4 per cent. During the week, Infosys was up by a whopping 7 per cent and ended the day at Rs 1,871, while Ranbaxy was up almost 9 per cent and closed at Rs 510 on Friday. Both Infosys and Ranbaxy have had a pretty decent run up since April.

FIIs were net buyers in equities to the tune of $167 million, while mutual funds bought equities to the tune of $72.80 million for the week ended on May 09, 2008.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 3.3 per cent to 153.80 this week. Materials producers gained 4.1 per cent, the most among the index's 10 industry groups, while technology companies rose 1.7 per cent.