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Sensex Saves Swearing-in Day

PM Manmohan Singh will take oath of office with bourses ending on a winning note

On the day that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is to be sworn-in for his second term, the stock markets returned to their winning ways by gaining 151 points. That this is noteworthy enough to be mentioned, stock markets gaining, that is, is due to the fact that stocks have been falling steadily over the week, except at its start.

The day did not hold out much promise earlier in the morning though as most indices started in the red. However, as trading progressed investors who thought economic reforms, especially big-ticket ones at all levels of government will be unveiled, gradually won the day taking the Sensex higher to 13,887.15 points at closing time -- a gain of 1.1 per cent.

However, in intra-day trading the Sensex never managed to rise above the 13,936.93-point mark, indicating sentiment may have been shallow. Another pointer to that effect was that out of the 30 stocks on the Sensex, 14 gained, while a majority of 16 lost. The top two most active stocks on the Sensex were DLF Limited and Reliance Comm, even though both ended up losing by as much as 2.5 per cent and 2.2 per cent. Among the most active scrips that actually gained and coming in at number three on the list, was ICICI Bank, it gained by as much as 4.1 per cent.

On the  National Stock Exchange, Nifty too closed on the up, gaining 27.60 per cent to close at 4,238.50 points.

Buyers concentrated on stocks that had fallen recently (Sensex had lost 565 points post-Monday's close) after reaching huge highs on the first day of the week, when it had risen by over 2,100 points. Among these were Reliance, ICICI Bank, L&T, NTPC and Sun Pharma.

Global cues were on the side of an upswing as European markets started steadily in early trade, even though Dow and Nasdaq ended in the red yesterday night. The Indian stock markets stood out on a day that most of the other Asian markets ended in the red and most traders attributed the fact to reasons that had to do with the start of a new term for the Congress government.

However, the action on the other indices caught the attention again, where both the small-cap and mid-cap stocks remained in favour of punters, powering their respective indices to a 3.19 per cent and 1.75 per cent rise -- BSE 100 finished 1.2 per cent higher, BSE 200 closed 1.1 per cent up, and BSE 500 closed 1.3 per cent higher.

On the Bombay Stock Exchange the losers were dwarfed by the gainers 595 to 2,139 respectively, but volume dropped to Rs 7,130.73 crore from Rs 7,996.10 crore on Thursday.

Along with PM Manmohan Singh, some 19 others are expected to participate in the swearing-in ceremoney. Among them are S M Krishna, M Veerappa Moily, Mamata Banerjee, Ghulam Nabi Azad, C P Joshi, Pranab Mukherjee, Sharad Pawar, A K Antony, P Chidambaram, Sushil Kumar Shinde, S Jaipal Reddy, Kamal Nath, Vayalar Ravi, Meira Kumar, Murli Deora, Kapil Sibal, Ambika Soni, B K Handique and Anand Sharma.