Sensex rises to highest level since Feb 2008

MUMBAI: The BSE benchmark Sensex on Wednesday advanced by another 103 points to its highest level since February 5, 2008, led by IT majors Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys Technologies amid expectations that a weak rupee against the US dollar will boost software export earnings.

The Bombay Stock Exchange’s 30-share index, which gained nearly 247 points in the previous two trading sessions, rose further by 102.61 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 18,217.44 on Wednesday.

In tandem, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 28.30 points, or 0.52 per cent, to 5,467.85, after touching an intra-day high of 5,481.90.

Market analysts said the trading sentiment was bolstered by rupee weakness against the US dollar, raising hopes of higher earnings by software exporting companies. A weak rupee would boost the value of software sales made in US dollars abroad when converted into the local currency.

The rupee lost 12 paise against the US dollar in early trade today due to demand for the US currency from importers.

Over 50 per cent of Indian software companies’ revenue comes from US and European markets.

Good first quarter numbers from Chennai-based and Nasdaq-listed Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp also improved investor optimism in IT stocks. Cognizant Technologies reported a profit that topped market estimates for the sixth straight quarter, helped by a surge in discretionary projects.

The company has also raised its 2010 revenue outlook well above Wall Street’s most upbeat projections.

However, the upsurge was capped by a mixed trend in the Asian region and a weaker opening in Europe this afternoon.

In the 30-BSE components, 20 stocks gained while 10 shares ended with losses. The upsurge was led by IT, Tech, capital goods and power sector shares.

The IT sector index gained the most, rising by 3.26 per cent to 5,640.99 as Infosys Technologies’ scrip shot up by Rs 83.25 to Rs 2,867.80 and Tata Consultancy by Rs 36.90 to Rs 870. The two firms carry nearly 16 per cent combined weightage on the Sensex.

Infosys and Tata Consultancy get more than half of their revenue from the US. Another IT major, Wipro Ltd, the country’s third largest, climbed by Rs 16.35 to Rs 428.85.

With buying activity spilling over a wide-front, the small cap index rose by 0.53 per cent to 9,516.49, while the mid cap index gained 0.03 per cent to 7,518.73.

However, Reliance Industries, with over 13 per cent weightage on the Sensex, fell by Rs 10.20 to Rs 1,015.90.(PTI)


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