Sensex poised to breach 18,000 mark Thursday


Mumbai : Indian shares ended firm with the benchmark index rising three percent to its 10th straight record close Wednesday and edged towards the 18,000-point mark, led by market heavyweights Reliance Industries Ltd and technology stocks.

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The 30-share sensitive index of the Bombay Stock Exchange, Sensex, ended 518.42 points or 3 percent higher at 17,847.04, rising for eleven sessions in a row and hit a lifetime high of 17,953.07 during the day’s trade.

The Sensex moved in the range of 17,288-17,953 levels in intra-day trades. Twenty of its components were trading in the green.

Similarly, the broader 50-issue National Stock Exchange index, Nifty, too, breached its 5,000 mark for the first time in its history in early deals to close 141.85 points or at 5,210.85.

“It is not surprising how Indian markets are behaving. Neither will it be surprising if the Sensex breaches the 18,000 mark in early trade Thursday as stocks are being bought purely on fundamentals, especially oil and gas scrips,” said an analyst with a leading stock broking firm.

Leading the Sensex surge was private sector power major Reliance Energy, up 7.48 percent at Rs.1,450.40, followed by largest software exporter Infosys Technologies, up 5.72 percent at Rs.2,001.40, and state-run thermal power producer NTPC Ltd, up 5.34 percent at Rs.217.00.

India’s most valuable company Reliance Industries Ltd, private sector Reliance Communications, heavy electrical equipment maker BHEL, top software exporter Tata Consultancy Services, top aluminium producer Hindalco Industries, second largest software exporter Wipro and top mortgage and housing finance firm HDFC were among the other major gainers of the day.

However, drug maker Cipla was the top loser of the day, slipping 1.93 percent at Rs.185.00, followed by Ambuja Cements, down 1.63 percent at Rs.144.95 and top fast moving consumer goods maker Hindustan Unilever, down 0.92 percent at Rs.220.35.

Drug maker Ranbaxy Laboratories, its rival, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories and top steel producer Tata Stel were among the other stocks, which slipped during the day’s trade.