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    Default Sensex opens at 20 month high of 17,473.45 points

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    The 30-scrip Sensex of Bombay Stock Exchange resumed at a nearly 20 month high of 17,473.46 with a small gain of 8.65 points at 0900 hrs today, the first trading day of 2010.

    The Sensex had ended year 2009 at 17,464.81 last week. The Nifty, however, opened flat at 5200.90 points.

    The key heavyweight stocks rebounded soon after an initial slide on firm Asian stocks. Strong monthly sales data from auto makers and the latest data showing a surge in exports in November 2009, underpinned sentiment.

    Also, JSW Energy, on its first day of trading was at Rs 104.50, a premium of 4.50 per cent over the initial public offer price of Rs 100. The stock debuted at Rs 102, a premium of two per cent over the initial public offer (IPO) price, brokers said.

    Auto stocks were seeing buying interest post their monthly sales numbers. Banking, realty and infrastructure stocks were also up. Among the frontliners, M and M, Sun Pharma, HDFC, HDFC Bank, Tata Power, Maruti Suzuki, Unitech, Tata Motors and TCS were gainers. However, Reliance Industries was down around 1.5 per cent. In block deals, 2.5 crore shares of Reliance change hands on BSE, NSE at Rs 1,035/share. The deal size was at Rs 2,575 crore.

    Later, the BSE 30-share Sensex was up 47.67 points or 0.27 per cent to 17,512.48. The Sensex gained 72.51 points at the day's high of 17,537.32 in early trade, its highest level since May 5, 2008. The Sensex fell 86.43 points at the day's low of 17,378.38 in early trade. The S and P CNX Nifty was up 4.85 points or 0.09 per cent at 5,205.90. It hit a high of 5,224.05, its highest level since May 5, 2008.

    Lloyds Steel, Ispat and SAL Steel gained 1.5-5 per cent.

    Gammon Infrastructure gained three per cent and HCC was up 1.4 per cent.

    Asian markets were trading higher. Shanghai, Hang Seng, Jakarta and Kospi gained 0.3-0.5 per cent. Nikkei rose 1.3 per cent. Straits Times and Taiwan Weighted were flat.

    Trading began at 0900 hrs for the first time today, as the stock exchanges have decided to extend trading hours by 55 minutes. Trading will end at 1530 hrs as usual.


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