Thursday, 21 February, 2008

Sensex gains 117 points in volatile session

Markets witnessed volatile trading on Thursday before staging a partial recovery on mixed cues of record crude oil prices, Indian rupee's steep depreciation and further slashing in lending rates by major public sector banks.

While a strong rally in IT shares, following the local currency breaching the 40-mark yesterday for the first time in five months, helped the benchmark Sensex surge, a fall in banking stocks after the announcement of a further cut in lending rates by ban ks, including the country biggest lender SBI, pared the index's initial gains.

The 30-share Sensex on the BSE ended the day at 17,734.68, netting a rise of 117.08 points or 0.66 per cent over its previous close. The National Stock Exchange's S&P CNX Nifty also firmed up by 37.35 points or 0.72 per cent to close at 5,191.80 from la st close of 5,154.45.

Reflecting volatility, the BSE barometer had moved between the day's high of 17,911.66 and low of 17,482.31 points. Analysts said the market is expected to remain volatile and range-bound around current levels, as global cues will continue to daunt Indi an bourses in the near-term.

Meanwhile, global crude prices hit a record of $101.32 a barrel. Retail investors too were cautious and avoided making any major commitments in the absence of a worthwhile trigger in view of the continued negative activity by foreign funds. Barring Chi na's Shanghai Composite, other Asian indices gained about 1.0 to 3.0 per cent.