Indices join global rebound

The gloom of last two weeks suddenly gave way to frenzy as the markets rallied to post significant gains today. Following the lead from global markets, the indices opened on a very strong note. The Sensex gained very rapidly and was up 100 points early in the morning itself. Indices managed to maintain the upward trend throughout the day. There were some abnormal spikes in select frontline stocks in the last five minutes of trade indicating some desperate short covering on the last day of futures settlement. Sensex closed at 6493, up 111 points and the Nifty at 2036, up 42 points.

Among index stocks Wipro, Bajaj Auto and ITC Power were the biggest percentage gainers while Sunpharma and Ranbaxy were the major losers.

Yesterday, US indices bounced back smartly on declining oil prices to post the highest gains for the last few months. Both Dow and NASDAQ gained more than a per cent each with NASDAQ closing above the 2000 mark. Crude oil futures declined to just under $54 as OPEC confirmed that there are no supply worries.

Most Indian ADR's recovered from previous days' losses. ICICI Bank, which had fallen substantially on Tuesday, led the rally with gains of close to 4 per cent. Satyam was the other significant gainer with more than 3 per cent gain. Infosys and HDFC Bank also gained ground while MTNL was the sole loser.

The GDP growth rate for the third quarter dropped to 6.2 per cent as agricultural growth dipped. This was anticipated as last year's phenomenal growth in agriculture was virtually impossible to meet. Double digit growth in manufacturing and the continuing growth in construction should keep the overall numbers for the current year in good shape.

Noted industrialist and chairman of the Jindal group O P Jindal died in a helicopter crash today. Jindal was serving as a minister in the state of Haryana. Jindal group stocks including Jindal Steel and Power, Jindal Vijayanagar and Jindal Strips lost ground on hearing the news.