Bombay shares end up, but off 21% for the year

CIOL Bureau
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MUMBAI: Bombay shares closed up on Friday, with traders expressing cautious

optimism for the future after an eventful year in which the benchmark index

vaulted 43 per cent in the first six weeks to a lifetime peak before a global

meltdown in new economy stocks whipped it down.


The 30-share benchmark Bombay index closed the day one per cent or 39.34

points up at 3,972.12.

The benchmark index had lost 20.65 per cent since January although it is down

35.42 per cent from a record peak of 6,150.69 points hit in February.

The 50-share National exchange index ended Friday 1.22 per cent higher at

1,264.15 points (provisional).


"Traders looking for short-term gains picked up technology sector shares

today after the recent sell off," said Ajit Sanghvi, a director with Malini

Sanghvi Securities.

He expected tech stocks to correct slightly before rallying further.

Shares of India's bluechip software services firm Infosys Technologies ended

the day 3.06 per cent higher at Rs 5,705.55 although it is down 21.39 per cent

for the year.


In December alone, the share fell 20.3 per cent, hit along with other firms

in the information technology sector by fears that a slowdown in global infotech

spending could hit earnings growth of local firms.

"I think the worse for Infosys is over and it could outperform the broad

market in the next quarter," said Mitesh Mehta, a director with K.G. Vora


Shares of Satyam Computer Services rose 4.8 per cent to Rs 323.25, Wipro 4.99

per cent to Rs 2,406.40 and NIIT 1.95 per cent to Rs 1,590.30.


"In the near term, the domestic market will continue to be driven by the

Nasdaq's movements," said S N Rajan, chief investment officer at Kotak

Mahindra Asset Management, which manages assets of over Rs 10 billion.

"The biggest lesson that we learnt this year was to bring in discipline

in profit booking," he said.

Shares of old economy firms were mixed.


Shares of Associated Cement Companies ended flat at Rs 159, Larsen &

Toubro rose 1.93 per cent to Rs 195.65, Tata Iron & Steel Co was 4.92 per

cent up to Rs 130.10 while Hindustan Lever Ltd was 0.15 per cent weaker at Rs


Provisional data from the Bombay exchange showed 700 advances against 542

declines with volumes in excess of 115 million shares.

(C) Reuters Limited 2000.