Sensex scales the 10000 peak; makes history

Not many would have thought in the morning that the Sensex would cross the much-awaited 10000 peak today. The markets had shown some weakness towards the end of the previous week and most Asian markets were subdued following a weak closing in the US on Friday.

The fresh round of fighting between the Ambani brothers cast another shadow over market sentiment. The rally in crude prices in early Asian trades was another negative factor.

The indices opened with modest gains as Reliance Industries opened lower as expected. From then on, both Sensex and Nifty gained strength for the rest of the session.

The Sensex crossed 9900 by mid-morning and by early afternoon was trading well above the 9500 mark. The Nifty crossed 3000 by early afternoon.

Traders waited with keen anticipation as the Sensex closed in on 10000 and finally went past the level in the last half hour. The index recorded a new intra-day high of 10003.

The Nifty could not reach its previous lifetime high of 3011, though it went very close. The index saw a high of 3009 in later afternoon trades.

Leading the markets from the front on this historic session were the big heavyweights ONGC and Reliance Industries. Both stocks gained strength after a subdued opening and gave a lot of strength to the indices.

Reliance Industries closed with gains of close to 3.5 per cent while ONGC added nearly 3 per cent.

ICICI Bank was the star of the day among frontline stocks. The stock regained most of its losses of the previous week. After opening on a very firm note, ICICI Bank held on to its gains and closed more than 6.5 per cent higher.

Pharma stocks had a good session today as Ranbaxy also joined the rally in the sector. The stock closed with gains of over 5.5 per cent. Sun Pharma and Glaxo added close to 4.5 per cent each.

Among the FMCG stocks, Dabur was the best performer with gains of nearly 4 per cent followed by ITC which added close to 3 per cent.

TCS was the best performer among IT stocks with gains of nearly 3 per cent. Infosys added 2 per cent while Satyam gained close to 2 per cent. Wipro closed marginally lower.

Steel stocks made a come back today. SAIL added more than 2.5 per cent while Tata Steel gained over 1.5 per cent.

Oriental Bank and ABB were the losers, both closing more than a per cent each lower. HPCL and PNB lost around a per cent each.
The Sensex closed at 9980, a gain of 238 points, and the Nifty at 3000, higher by 60 points. Nifty February futures closed at a discount of 6 points to the spot index.

Crude prices gained in early Asian trades the IAEA referred the Iranian nuclear issue to the UN Security Council over the weekend.

There are also reports of supply disruptions from Iraq because of poor weather conditions. The commodity is trading with gains of a per cent at around $66 per barrel in early European trades today.

Ranbaxy has formed a joint venture with Community Investment Holdings of South Africa to sell generic AIDS drugs in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. Ranbaxy would hold a 70 per cent stake in the venture with the South African partner holding the rest.

Mid-Cap Action

Mid-caps also saw substantial gains today though overall gains were lower than the frontline stocks. The CNX Mid-Cap index gained 61 points to end the day at 4348.

Tea plantation stocks celebrated the historic day with strong gains. The sector is seeing a huge rally on reports that the Kenyan output would be lower which may lead to higher prices.

Three tea plantation stocks, Harison Malayalam, Jayashree Tea and Williamson Magor closed the day locked in 20 per cent upper circuit. McLeod Russel closed 10 per cent higher.

Financial Technologies announced that Fidelity International has acquired a 9-per cent stake in commodity exchange MCX, a subsidiary of the company, for $49 million. MCX is scheduled to come out with an IPO later this year.