Asian and European shares edged higher yesterday, with Seoul hitting a new high, following strong gains in the US stocks after data showed US inflation was in check. In recent days, a spate of merger and acquisition activity as well as increasingly eye-popping takeover bids have propelled many global indices to record highs. However, the sharp and swift surge has raised concerns of a steep correction.
The Sensex had eked out small gains albeit in highly volatile trade on Friday as trends in the UP assembly election showed that the BSP was set to emerge as the single largest party in the state contrary to fears of a hung assembly. Data showing moderating inflation and strong industrial output in March 2007 aided the recovery on that day, with the Sensex rising 25 points.
The 30-stock sensex resumed at 13,954.41 and touched the day's low at 13,924.02. Buying interest in pivotal stocks lifted the index to the intra-day peak at 14,026.02 before it ended the day at 13,965.86 with a gain of 170 points or 1.2 per cent over Friday's close of 13,796.16.
The BSE-100 index zoomed 97 points or 1.4 per cent to finish at 7,136.40 and the BSE-Teck index rose 21 points or 0.6 per cent to end at 3,686.83.
Banking major State Bank surged 4.9 per cent to finish Rs1205.75 on reports that the bank reported a 75 per cent rise in net profit to Rs14.93 billion and a 22 per cent increase in net interest income to Rs43.20 billion in its quarterly results for the January-March quarter.
Other banking stocks also gained ground on buying interest. Dena Bank soared 6.1 per cent to finish Rs40.80, Bank Of Baroda zoomed 4.3 per cent to finish Rs269.90 and Bank Of India jumped 2.3 per cent to finish Rs200.45.
Tisco rose 3.9 per cent to finish Rs591 on expectations of strong quarterly results from the company.
Consumer stocks gained ground on reports that that the south-west monsoon is expected to hit the Kerala coast around 24 May 2007, one week earlier than the scheduled date of 1 June 2007.
Hindustan Lever rose 3.6 per cent to finish Rs192.05 and Colgate was higher by 0.2 per cent at Rs370.40.
Cement shares, too, got a boost from favourable reports of monsoon. Gujarat Ambuja Cements rose 3.7 per cent to finish Rs123.65 and Grasim Inds was higher by 1.4 per cent to end at Rs2462.60.
Other sensex heavyweights ONGC at Rs906.80 (up 2.3 per cent) and Reliance Inds at Rs1620.90 (up 1.9 per cent) also contributed to the gain in the sensex.
When we choose to look away for good, we are as complicit as those at the helm of this atrocity
Over 100 people in Lebanon have been reported killed during the hostilities started on October 7