Indices surge ahead even as Mumbai sinks under floods

The market momentum is so strong that even the worst-ever flooding in the history of the country's financial capital cannot stop its onward march. After opening on a weak note, the indices gained strength on the back of very strong quarterly results from Reliance Industries and closed the day at new lifetime-highs. The Sensex closed the day above 7600 for the first time ever.

The day started with doubts about whether the exchanges would be able to function smoothly in view of the large scale disruptions in Mumbai. Finally the exchanges did open for business as usual, though there were reports of problems at the depositories.

Market volumes at around Rs24,000 crore were not affected much, even though most of the Mumbai traders could not participate. After remaining low in the initial hours of trading, volumes picked up later in the day. Volumes were over Rs30,000 crore yesterday.

The day once again belonged to banking stocks which continued their strong showing today as well. HDFC Bank was the biggest gainer among large banks, closing with gains of close to 4 per cent. While SBI closed with gains of 3 per cent, ICICI Bank gained well over 3 per cent.

Sensex closed at 7605, a gain of 52 points and the Nifty at 2319, a gain of 16 points. Nifty July futures closed the day at a premium of 2 point to the spot index.

VSNL, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank were among the major gainers among Nifty stocks while Zee Tele, Tata Steel and M&M were the major losers.