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Markets Recover After a Scary Start

They dropped in the first two trading days but then the sentiments turned positive. Finally, the Sensex closed up 1.57 per cent, while Nifty rose 0.56 per cent

After the previous week's crash, equity markets staged a reasonable comeback in the week ended April 22. However, it was not a smooth rise. The markets dropped in the first two days, scaring the investors that yet another tough week was ahead. But sentiments turned positive in the second half of the week. Finally, after three choppy sessions, the Sensex closed up 1.57 per cent at 6346.57, while Nifty rose 0.56 per cent at 1967.35 mark on Friday.

Mid-cap stocks did well--the CNX Mid Cap 200 gained 1.75 per cent. The movement in the stock indices was basically a reaction to the Q4 results announced by various companies during the week. In the first two days, TCS results dragged the Sensex down but later on, the bourses recovered due to the increased demands at lower prices.

The broad-based S&P CNX 500 gained 0.89 per cent. Among the sectoral indices, the 1.12 per cent gain in BSE FMCG index was the most impressive, while the metal stocks continued their downward march with the BSE Metal index dropping around 1 per cent.

Tech stocks recovered after a sharp fall in the previous week-the BSE IT Index rose 0.96 per cent. The BSE Healthcare and BSE Bankex posted negative returns of 0.27 and 0.76 per cent, respectively. The BSE PSU index was slightly better by a 0.32 per cent rise during the week.

Among the Sensex heavyweights, the prominent gainers were Maruti Udyog Ltd--the stock closed up 8.2 per cent--followed by a 7 per cent rise in Tata Power. Among the top three losers during the week were Dr Reddy's Laboratories (down 4.2 per cent) followed by more than two per cent fall in the share prices of Ranbaxy Laboratories and Hero Honda Motors.

The FIIs turned negative and withdrew Rs 1386.3 crore from Monday to Thursday. Mutual funds pumped in Rs 334.09 crore in the equity markets. The IPO of India Infoline opened on April 21, 2005 and will continue till April 27, 2005.

Outlook

Markets may react sharply to the FIIs pulling out of the Indian stock markets in large volumes. The expiry of April 2005 derivatives contracts is scheduled for the coming week and also the RBI announcement of credit policy on Thursday would decide the markets' direction. Forthcoming quarter four results of Reliance Industries, Siemens, Cipla, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Zee Telefilms and Punjab National Bank hold the key. Overall, the markets are likely to trade with a positive undertone.