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Markets Move Ahead

Equity markets registered marginal gains in the week ended August 19, 2005. While the 30-scrip BSE Sensex added 0.17 per cent to close at 7,781 points, the Nifty rose 0.93 per cent

Equity markets registered marginal gains in the week ended August 19, 2005. While the 30-scrip BSE Sensex added 0.17 per cent to close at 7,781 points, the Nifty rose 0.93 per cent to sign off the week at 2,383 mark. PSU and IT stocks were the major gainers of the week. Among the broader indices, the S&P CNX 500 gained 1.11 per cent, while the CNX Midcap added 0.63 per cent.

Equity markets began the week on a flat note on Tuesday. Staging a recovery from an intra-day low of 7,737 points, the Sensex closed at 7,768.24 points, up 0.75 points. The Nifty, though, added 8.25 points to end the day at 2,369.80 mark. Though the markets were subdued, mid-cap stocks saw a lot of action with the CNX Midcap gaining 0.43 per cent. Gains were also seen in select index heavyweights. While the PSU, healthcare and FMCG stocks attracted buying interest, banking stocks dragged the markets down.

The equity markets regained their momentum on Wednesday. Helped by a broad-based buying activity, the Sensex crossed yet another milestone. The 30-scrip index gained 91 points to close at a historic high of 7,860 points. The Nifty too surged 33 points to end the day at 2,403 mark. Robust FII inflows added to the bullish mood. Technology, PSU, banking and FMCG stocks rallied. Mid-cap stocks also saw significant buying interest.

The equity markets ran out of gas on Thursday. Unable to keep Wednesday's momentum, the markets slipped on back of a profit booking spree in the index heavyweights. While the 30-stock BSE Sensex slipped 48 points to close at 7,811, the Nifty lost 15 points to end the day at 2,388 mark. The sentiments remained subdued despite fall in the international crude oil prices and a strong US market. FMCG, healthcare, IT and PSU stocks felt the pressure and slipped in the red.

The Indian stock markets were in the positive territory till the afternoon deals but slipped later in the day on Friday. While the BSE Sensex lost nearly 31 points to end at 7,780.76, the Nifty shed five points to close at 2,383.45 mark. Though select index heavyweights traded in the positive territory, weakness across sectors pulled the indices down. Sectors including banking, FMCG and IT were under pressure. Banking stocks traded higher in the morning session but failed to maintain the momentum later in the day.

Among the major Sensex gainers, cement major ACC added 5.72 per cent on hopes of an increased demand after the monsoon. ONGC too added over 5 per cent each. TCS gained 3.40 per cent. Among the major losers included Satyam Computers, Hero Honda Motors, Reliance Energy, ICICI Bank and Dr Reddy's Laboratories. All lost over 2 per cent each. Overall, there were 15 gainers and equal number of losers over the week.

Among the sectoral indices, IT stocks staged a comeback this week. The BSE IT Index added 0.98 per cent. PSU stocks too were in action with the BSE PSU Index rising 1.82 per cent. Banking stocks continued to suffer this week as well. The BSE Bankex shed 1.40 per cent.

The combined daily average turnover on both exchanges went down by 6.89 per cent to Rs 9,560 crore.

Foreign institutional investors continued their interest in the Indian equities and pumped in Rs 496 crore over the week. Mutual funds too invested Rs 320 crore.

Outlook

The way markets are moving ahead, a huge correction looks unlikely. However, volatility would prevail in the week ahead. With monsoon now almost over, we may see rally in cement and metal stocks. FII and domestic mutual funds' continued support looks encouraging.