Indian shares continue to trade firm


Mumbai : Indian shares Monday opened the new week on firm ground with a benchmark index gaining 0.68 percent. Drug and banking stocks led the surge.

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The 30-share Sensitive Index (‘Sensex’) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) gained ground in intra-day trade, hovering between 15,323 and 15,426 to close 103.45 points or 0.68 percent up at 15,422.05. Twenty-one of its components traded in the green.

The broader 50-issue National Stock Exchange (NSE) index, Nifty, too traded marginally in the green to close 10.75 points or 0.24 percent up at 4,474.75 levels.

The fresh gains come after a week when the indices gained throughout.

Analysts said that though the indices have surged in the past two weeks, the market is likely to witness a correction in the coming week.

“Indices have surged more than 10 percent in last two weeks from lows. This has boosted investor confidence and I see this trend continuing for the next three to four sessions. However, we may witness profit booking next week,” said an analyst with a leading brokerage house here.

Leading the pack of Sensex gainers was state-run thermal energy producer NTPC, up 6.95 percent at Rs.185.35, followed by pharma major Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, up 3.87 percent at Rs.665.60, and drug major Cipla, up 2.75 percent at Rs.171.95.

Heavy electrical equipment maker BHEL, top private sector lender ICICI Bank, hospitality and tobacco major ITC, top multi-utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra, top aluminium producer Hindalco, car maker Maruti Udyog and leading drug maker Ranbaxy Laboratories were the other notable gainers of the day.

Key losers in the Sensex included top oil and natural gas explorer ONGC, down 1.82 percent at Rs.841.95, followed by second largest software exporter Wipro, down 1.42 percent at Rs.475.40, and top two- and three-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto, down 1.01 percent at Rs.2,321.50.

Top private sector telecom service provider Bharti Airtel, leading software exporter Tata Consultancy Service, private sector energy producer Reliance Energy, India’s most valuable company Reliance Industries and leading textile producer Grasim Industries were among the other notable stocks that traded in the red.