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Sensex Races Past 11,000

Equity markets ended March with a bang. Sustained inflows from FIIs and domestic mutual funds and buying interest in metal, FMCG and healthcare stocks kept the mood upbeat

Equity markets ended March with a bang. Sustained inflows from FIIs and domestic mutual funds and buying interest in metal, FMCG and healthcare stocks kept the mood upbeat. The 30-stock BSE Sensex rose nearly 330 points or 3.01 per cent to end the week at 11,280 levels. The Nifty too zoomed 3.74 per cent to 3,402 mark. Among the broader indices, the S&P CNX 500 added 3.15 per cent, while the CNX Midcap gained 2.50 per cent.

Stocks had a ballistic start to the week. Sensex, which had closed just short of 11,000 mark, raced beyond the historic level to close at 11,079 mark, up 129 points on Monday. Metal and consumer good companies led the rally on hopes that firm prices would result into higher quarterly profits. HLL was the top gainer--the stock rose 5.2 per cent.

Stocks started Tuesday on a positive note too with the Sensex racing to a record high of 11,146.85 during the early trades. However, markets pared the gains to close flat at 11,086 mark, up a marginal 7 points. However, stocks continued their march ahead on Wednesday. This time, IT stocks led the rally. Buyers thronged the software counters in anticipation of robust third quarter numbers. The Sensex rose 97 points to close at 11,183 mark. Pharma major Ranbaxy Laboratories rose 3.4 per cent on news that it had struck a deal to buy Romania's Terapia for $324 million.

Thursday was no different from the previous three trading days. Yet another rally followed, pushing the Sensex up 124 points. Ranbaxy gained close to 10 per cent on hopes that the recent acquisitions would lead to growth in earnings in days ahead. Markets snapped their four-day rally on profit booking to close marginally down on Friday. While the Sensex was down 27 points, the Nifty lost 0.48 per cent.

Among the 30 Sensex stocks, 23 ended the week in the positive territory. The pack of gainers was led by 8.74 per cent rise in Tata Steel, followed by over 7 per cent gain of Bharti Tele, Hindalco, Ranbaxy and ONGC. ICICI Bank was the top loser of the week--the stock closed 1.82 per cent down.

Among the sectoral indices, BSE Metal continued to shine brighter with gains of 8.39 per cent. BSE FMCG, BSE Healthcare and BSE IT rose 5.13, 4.28, and 3.45 per cent, respectively. BSE Bankex closed flat.

The combined daily average turnover on BSE and NSE went up 28.42 per cent to Rs 17,498 crore in the week ended March 31. The FIIs invested nearly Rs 1,562 crore, while domestic mutual funds pumped in Rs 1,141 crore over the week.