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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Monthly Technicals

Monthly Technicals

BSE Bulk Deals to Watch - May 5 2009

Deal Date Scrip Code Company Client Name Deal Type * Quantity Price **
5/5/2009 500032 BAJAJHINDLTD OPG SECURITIES P LTD B 875498 101.58
5/5/2009 500032 BAJAJHINDLTD DSP MERRILL LYNCH LTD B 1000000 89.72
5/5/2009 500032 BAJAJHINDLTD OPG SECURITIES P LTD S 875498 101.68
5/5/2009 500032 BAJAJHINDLTD DSP MERRILL LYNCH LTD S 1000000 100.49
5/5/2009 532491 ECE INDUSTRI K.M.ENTERPRISE P. K.M.VISARIA FMLY TRST B 215000 133.00
5/5/2009 532491 ECE INDUSTRI KEDIA BANIJYA UDYOG B 215000 133.00
5/5/2009 532491 ECE INDUSTRI LIC OF INDIA S 539546 133.00
5/5/2009 532984 ENSO SECUT ARION COMMERCIAL PVT LTD B 57485 20.46
5/5/2009 531913 GOPAL IRON INTERFACE NETWORK MRKT.PVT.LTD. B 100000 5.70
5/5/2009 521080 PASARI SPIN EKTA SARAOGI S 80000 9.22
5/5/2009 513699 SOLID STONE CLT INVESTMENTS PVT LTD S 23500 85.00
5/5/2009 526133 SUPERTEX IND SHAISHILTJHAVERI S 64400 25.43

NSE Bulk Deals to Watch - May 5 2009

Date,Symbol,Security Name,Client Name,Buy/Sell,Quantity Traded,Trade Price / Wght. Avg. Price,Remarks
05-MAY-2009,BAJAJHIND,Bajaj Hindusthan Ltd,OM INVESTMENTS,BUY,856551,91.19,-
05-MAY-2009,BAJAJHIND,Bajaj Hindusthan Ltd,PRB SECURITIES PRIVATE LTD.,BUY,854717,99.88,-
05-MAY-2009,BALRAMCHIN,Balrampur Chini Mills,OM INVESTMENTS,BUY,1438001,77.91,-
05-MAY-2009,INDOTECH,Indo Tech Transformers Li,RAJASTHAN GLOBAL SECURITIES LTD,BUY,220,251.07,-
05-MAY-2009,KOHINOOR,Kohinoor Foods Limited,SATNAM ARORA,BUY,184279,59.40,-
05-MAY-2009,MIC,MIC Electronics Limited,EDELWEISS COMMODITIES LIMITED,BUY,650000,27.59,-
05-MAY-2009,NAGARFERT,Nagarjuna Fert & Chem,PACE FINANCIAL SERVICES,BUY,2265263,23.40,-
05-MAY-2009,PLASTIBLEN,Plastiblends India Limite,VARUN KUMAR KABRA,BUY,70773,91.38,-
05-MAY-2009,RIIL,Reliance Indl Infra Ltd,ADROIT FINANCIAL SERVICES PRIVATE LIMITED,BUY,109487,789.09,-
05-MAY-2009,RIIL,Reliance Indl Infra Ltd,BP FINTRADE PRIVATE LIMITED,BUY,75799,789.37,-
05-MAY-2009,RIIL,Reliance Indl Infra Ltd,C D INTEGRATED SERVICES LTD.,BUY,227341,788.97,-
05-MAY-2009,RIIL,Reliance Indl Infra Ltd,GENUINE STOCK BROKERS PVT LTD,BUY,138952,788.81,-
05-MAY-2009,SELMCL,SEL Manufacturing Company,KANUDIA CAPITAL & MANAGEMENT SERVICES PVT. LTD.,BUY,138827,83.45,-
05-MAY-2009,ARVIND,Arvind Limited,BNP PARIBAS ARBITAGE SNC,SELL,1548000,18.57,-
05-MAY-2009,BAJAJHIND,Bajaj Hindusthan Ltd,OM INVESTMENTS,SELL,874674,90.87,-
05-MAY-2009,BAJAJHIND,Bajaj Hindusthan Ltd,PRB SECURITIES PRIVATE LTD.,SELL,849017,99.90,-
05-MAY-2009,BALRAMCHIN,Balrampur Chini Mills,OM INVESTMENTS,SELL,1438001,77.99,-
05-MAY-2009,COREPROTEC,Core Projects and Technol,ROBECO CAPITAL GROWTH FUND,SELL,520000,101.71,-
05-MAY-2009,INDOTECH,Indo Tech Transformers Li,RAJASTHAN GLOBAL SECURITIES LTD,SELL,92220,242.11,-
05-MAY-2009,NAGARFERT,Nagarjuna Fert & Chem,PACE FINANCIAL SERVICES,SELL,2265263,23.35,-
05-MAY-2009,PLASTIBLEN,Plastiblends India Limite,MAHASHREE PLASTIC IND PVT,SELL,70773,91.38,-
05-MAY-2009,RIIL,Reliance Indl Infra Ltd,BP FINTRADE PRIVATE LIMITED,SELL,75799,790.12,-
05-MAY-2009,RIIL,Reliance Indl Infra Ltd,C D INTEGRATED SERVICES LTD.,SELL,227341,789.29,-
05-MAY-2009,RIIL,Reliance Indl Infra Ltd,GENUINE STOCK BROKERS PVT LTD,SELL,138952,789.40,-
05-MAY-2009,RSSOFTWARE,R. S. Software (I) Ltd.,IQROOP SINGH SEKHON,SELL,40000,19.25,-
05-MAY-2009,SELMCL,SEL Manufacturing Company,KANUDIA CAPITAL & MANAGEMENT SERVICES PVT. LTD.,SELL,124959,83.09,-
05-MAY-2009,YESBANK,Yes Bank Limited,RUSSELL AIF CAPITAL INC,SELL,2200000,83.45,-

Post Session Commentary - May 5 2009

Indian market closed the highly volatile session on flat note as investors booked profits following steep rise in previous session with biggest one-day percentage gain in six months. However, small recovery led by some buying support was unable to help investors’ sentiments. Concerns about the financial health of U.S. banks and the potential for massive share sales also hit sentiment.

The market opened today slightly up and turned choppy soon after start on profit taking. However, the US stock markets on Monday continued its upward rally and ended significantly higher. After lackluster show in early trade, domestic bourses turned volatile with some ineffective trial to gather momentum. Further market continued to skip up and down on continuous bouts of buying and selling. Finally, market closed flat on some consolidation after strong rally in previous session. BSE Sensex ended above 12,100 level and NSE Nifty closed above 3,600 level. From the sectoral front, Reality, Metal, Bank, Capital Goods, Power and Consumer Durable stocks witnessed most of the buying from these baskets. Mid Cap and Small Cap stocks also gathered some favor during the trading session. However, FMCG, IT and Teck stocks remained out of favour.

Among the Sensex pack 17 stocks ended in red territory and 13 in green. The market breadth indicating the overall health of the market remained positive as 1622 stocks closed in green while 919 stocks closed in red and 94 stocks remained unchanged in BSE.

The BSE Sensex closed slightly down by 3.67 points at 12,131.08 whereas NSE Nifty ended marginally up by 7.90 points at 3,661.90. BSE Mid Caps and Small Caps closed with gains of 67.58 and 80.88 points at 3,718.87 and 4,162.58 respectively. The BSE Sensex touched intraday high of 12,197.88 and intraday low of 11,958.88.

Gainers from the BSE Sensex pack are DLF Ltd (11.36%), Tata Steel (8.80%), ICICI Bank (7.64%), Tata Motors (5.95%), Reliance Infra (5.86%), Ranbaxy Lab (3.90%), RCom (3.45%) and L&T Ltd (2.77%).

Losers from the BSE Sensex pack are HDFC (5.04%), ITC Ltd (3.94%), M&M Ltd (2.96%), Infosys Tech (2.84%), TCS Ltd (2.51%), SBI (1.65%), NTPC Ltd (1.47%) and Maruti Suzuki (1.13%).

On the global markets front the Asian markets which opened before the Indian market, ended higher tracking overnight gains in Wall Street. Data from the U.S. and China have shown an improvement in recent days. Shanghai Composite, Hang Seng, Nikkei 225, Straits Times index and Seoul Composite ended higher by 7.43, 49.03, 149.11, 45.64 and 28.56 points at 2,567.34, 16,430.08, 8,977.37, 2,074.35 and 1,397.92 respectively.

European markets which opened after the Indian market are trading in green. In Frankfurt the DAX index is trading up by 8.64 points at 4,911.09 and in London FTSE 100 is trading higher by 119.35 points at 4,362.57.

The BSE Reality outperformed the benchmark indices as ended up by (8.63%) or 192.90 points at 2,428.99 on hopes that lower rates will spur housing demand. Gainers are DLF Ltd (11.36%), Unitech Ltd (10.66%), Housing Development (9.36%), Sobha Dev (8.49%) and Penland Ltd (7.92%).

The BSE Metal index closed with increase of (3.50%) or 262.21 points at 7,751.68 on rise in metal prices on the London Metal Exchange. Scrips that gained are JSW Steel (9.95%), Jindal Saw (8.82%), Tata Steel (8.80%), NMDC Ltd (6.65%) and Gujarat NRE C (4.62%).

The BSE Bank stocks advanced by (2.36%) or 144.63 points to close at 6,278.16 on expectations of lowering interest rates that will result in boosting liquidity into the market. Major gainers are ICICI Bank (7.64%), Kotak Bank (6.94%), Indus Ind Bank (6.36%), IDBI Bank (5.37%) and Axis Bank (3.11%).

The BSE Capital Goods index surged (1.77%) or 147.87 points to close at 8,522.04. Main gainers are Suzlon Energy (9.93%), Praj Industries (6.52%), Usha Martin (4.91%), L&T Ltd (2.77%) and Reliance Industrial Infra (2.61%).

The BSE FMCG index ended lower by (2.15%) or 47.51 points to close at 2,161.23. ITC Ltd (3.94%), Britania Industries (2.05%), HUL (0.83%) and United Spr (0.47%) ended in negative territory.

The BSE IT index lost (2.11%) or 60.92 points to close at 2,826.12. Losers are Patni Computer (4.27%), Infosys Tech (2.84%), TCS Ltd (2.51%), Financ Tech (2.37%) and HCL Tech (1.78%).

Tata Motors advanced by 5.95%. The company said that it has received in excess of 2.03 lakh bookings for the Nano and collected almost Rs 2,500 crore. The company sold a total of 6.10 lakh forms.

Jubilant Organosys inclined by 13.34% after signing a research deal with Astra Zenca for neuroscience related drugs. The company focused on delivering novel drug candidates into the international pharmaceutical company''s pre-clinical pipeline.

DLF ended higher by 11.36%. The country’s largest property company is close to sell a 50% stake of its soon-to-be-opened 120-room hotel at Saket, New Delhi, for around Rs. 75 crore to a wealthy individual, who is not involved with any hotel chain.

Suzlon Energy zoomed 9.93% after the firm raised its stake in Germany''s REpower Systems to 76%, after paying Martifer 30 million euros last week.

L&T Ltd gained 2.77%. EADS Defence & Security and Larsen & Toubro join forces in India to forge a long term partnership in the fields of defence technology.

HDFC closed lower by 5.04%. The mortgage lender posted a better than expected rise of 20% in the fourth quarter profits. It has reported a net profit of Rs. 733 crore for the quarter ended March 2009 from Rs. 610 crore during the corresponding quarter.

Maruti Suzuki lost 1.13%. The company is looking at the option to launch a 660 cc car in the near future as well as to launch an executive sedan to compete with the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic. The company also plans to upgrade the Omni engine to make it compliant with the latest emission norms.

Small-cap, mid-cap indices extend gains

The two key benchmark indices - the BSE Sensex and the S&P CNX Nifty saw divergent trend with the Sensex falling marginally and the S&P CNX Nifty rising slightly in what was a highly choppy trading session. The BSE Sensex settled 3.67 points or 0.03% lower, recovering 145.20 points from the day's low, but off 66.80 from the day's high. The Sensex struck its highest level in nearly 6 months. The Nifty attained its highest closing in more than six months.

The BSE Sensex regained the psychological 12,000 level. It had fallen below that level in early afternoon trade.

Volatility was high. After an early slide triggered by profit taking after Monday's sharp surge, the market bounced back in morning trade. However, the recovery proved short-lived with the Sensex skidding to the day's low in early afternoon trade. It cut losses later. Volatility ruled the roost in afternoon trade.

The market firmed up in mid-afternoon trade as as index heavyweight Reliance Industries recovered. The BSE Sensex struck its highest level in nearly six months. A sudden fall was witnessed at about 14:41 IST. Volatility was high in late trade.

The BSE 30-share Sensex had jumped 731.50 points, or 6.41%, to 12,134.75 on Monday, registering its biggest single day point gain since 31 October 2008. The BSE Sensex had advanced 2,487.44 points or 25.78% in the calendar year 2009 till 4 May 2009.

Recovery in the Indian economy triggered a solid rally on the domestic bourses in the past few days. The rally was also a part of a sharp surge in global equities triggered by hopes the worst of the global economic recession may be over. From a 3-year closing low of 8,160.40 on 9 March 2009, the Sensex jumped 3974.35 points or 48.70% to 12134.75 on 4 May 2009.

Buying demand from foreign institutional investors (FIIs) aided the recent upsurge. FIIs bought shares worth a net Rs 1491.20 crore on Monday, 4 May 2009. Their inflow in calendar year 2009 totaled Rs 2203.90 crore.

Activity in Indian factories expanded for the first time in five months in April 2009 as a swelling orders pipeline pointed to a tentative recovery, a survey showed on Monday, 4 May 2009. The ABN AMRO Bank purchasing managers' index (PMI) based on a survey of 500 companies, rose to 53.3 in April 2009 from 49.5 in March 2009, climbing above the threshold of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. The latest reading is the highest in seven months and it has steadily risen after hitting a trough of 44.4 in December 20089.

Manufacturing makes up about 16% of India's gross domestic product. The boost in manufacturing index came from a surge in new orders. The new orders index rose to 54.9 in April 2009 from 49.5 in March 2009. Several research notes in the past few days have pointed to improvement in economic activity in the months ahead.

European shares rose with financials the biggest gainers on hopes that the results of US government stress tests on banks would reveal only modest shortfalls for the sector. Key benchmark indices in UK, France and Germany were up by between 0.10% to 2.87%

Most Asian markets rose on Tuesday, 5 May 2009, as better-than-expected US home sales added to signs the worst of the global recession has passed. Key indices in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore were up by between 0.29% and 2.25%. Trading in Tokyo was closed until Thursday for Golden Week, while trading in South Korea was closed for the Children's Day holiday.

A government report on 30 April 2009 showed Japan's industrial production rose in March 2009 for the first time in six months and at twice the pace estimated by economists. The CLSA China Purchasing Managers' Index rose in April 2009, the first gain in nine months, CLSA Asia Pacific Markets said yesterday, 4 May 2009.

Trading in US index futures showed the Dow could rise 11 points at the opening bell on Tuesday, 5 May 2009. Earlier in the day, the Dow futures were in red.

The Wall Street Journal reported that ten of the 19 US banks undergoing government stress tests will need to raise capital. The results of the government's Supervisory Capital Assessment Program, otherwise known as the "stress test," imposed on 19 major banks will be released Thursday, 7 May 2009. The Federal Reserve has already said that most US banking organizations had enough capital.

US stocks rallied on Monday, 4 May 2009 driving the S&P 500 into positive territory for the year as investors bet banks' capital shortfalls may be manageable and housing data fueled hopes the recession is easing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 214.33 points, or 2.61%, to 8,426.74, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 29.72 points, or 3.39%, to 907.24 and the Nasdaq Composite index climbed 44.36 points, or 2.58%, to 1,763.56.

US government on Monday reported that construction spending in the country rose for the first time in six months in March 2009 as stimulus spending kicked in, while pending sales of existing homes rose 3.2% for the month.

Last week, the Federal Reserve monetary policy committee said the outlook for the US economy has improved a bit in recent weeks but that low interest rates would be needed for some time to ensure it recovers from its deep recession.

The BSE 30-share Sensex ended marginally lower by 3.67points, or 0.34%, to 12,092.96, as per provisional closing. The Sensex opened 24.59 points higher at 12,159.74. At the day's high of 12,197.88, the Sensex gained 63.13 points in mid-afternoon trade, its highest level since 6 October 2008. At the day's low of 11,985.88, the Sensex lost 148.87 points in early afternoon trade.

The S&P CNX Nifty rose 7.90 points, or 0.22%, to 3,661.90, its highest closing since 3 October 2008. Nifty May 2009 futures were at 3,659, at a discount of 2.90 points as compared to the spot closing. Turnover in NSE's futures & options (F&O) segment surged to Rs 52,712.16 crore from Rs 46,344.80 crore on Monday, 4 May 2009.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was strong. On BSE, 1615 shares rose as compared with 933 that declined. A total of 99 shares remained unchanged.

The BSE Mid-Cap index rose 1.85% to 3,718.87 and the BSE Small-Cap index climbed up 1.98% to 4,162.58. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

The BSE Mid-Cap index has risen 165.38 points or 45.63% from its low of 2,553.49 on 9 March 2009. The BSE Small-Cap index has rebounded 1295.90 points or 45.20% from its low of 2,866.68 on 9 March 2009.

BSE clocked a turnover of Rs 5811 crore, higher than Rs 4,753.56 crore on Monday, 4 May 2009.

Sectoral indices on BSE displayed mixed trend. The BSE Consumer Durables index (up 0.98%), the BSE PSU index (up 0.71%), the BSE Capital Goods index (up 1.77%), the BSE Realty index (up 8.63%), the BSE Auto index (up 0.16%), the BSE Power index (up 1.19%), BSE Healthcare index (up 0.22%), BSE Bankex (up 2.36%), and the BSE Metal index (up 3.50%), outperformed the Sensex.

The BSE IT index (down 2.11%), BSE TECk index (down 1.10%), the BSE FMCG index (down 2.15%), the BSE Oil & Gas index (down 0.38%), underperfomed the Sensex.

Among the 30-member Sensex pack, 19 slipped while the rest gained.

Rate sensitive real estate shares rose on hopes lower rates will revive demand. Most of the realty deals including sale of commercial property and housing sales is driven by finance.

India's largest realty developer by sales DLF shot up 11.25% to Rs 260.05 on high volume of 84.96 lakh shares on the BSE. It was the top gainer from the Sensex pack. Reportedly, the company intends raising Rs 5,500 crore to retire debt through the sale of non-strategic assets like power units and hotels.

Unitech (up 11.47%), HDIL (up 7.97%), and Indiabulls Real Estate (up 4.06%), gained.

Sobha Developers jumped 8.83% to Rs 112.15 after its board of directors in a meeting held on 4 May 2009 board approved increase in foreign institutional investors investment limit up to 100% of its equity

India's largest private sector bank by net profit ICICI Bank vaulted 8.52% to Rs 574.10 after its American depository receipt (ADR) advanced 14.16% on Monday, 4 May 2009.

India's largest mortgage finance firm by total income HDFC slumped 5.19% to Rs 1856 on profit taking after a 13.79% surge on Monday, 4 May 2009 triggered by better-than-expected Q4 results. The stock's rating was cut to hold from buy by Deutsche Bank, which said the shares were fairly valued. It was the top loser from the Sensex pack.

India's largest private sector steel maker by sales Tata Steel galloped 8.37% to Rs 285. The stock flared up on reports the company has raised prices of long steel products used in the construction industry. Tata Steel has increased spot prices by Rs 300 to Rs 500 a tonne on some long products, marking the first rise since prices crashed in the middle of last year. The price increase was effective 1 May 2009.

Other steel stocks also advanced. JSW Steel (up 9.47%), Bhushan Steel (up 6.46%), Jindal Steel & Power (up 1.74%) and Ispat Industries (up 3.71%), rose.

India's largest truck maker by sales Tata Motors jumped 5.77% to Rs 272.05 after the company received 2.03 lakh bookings for its mini-car Nano, the world's cheapest car, more than double from the initial sales plan of the company. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 4 May 2009. Tata Motors raised about Rs 2500 crore from consumer bookings for its Nano, the world's cheapest car.

But India's top small car maker by sales Maruti Suzuki India fell 1.66% to Rs 825. The company reportedly plans to launch a 660 cc car in the coming years. Meanwhile, the company also plans to upgrade the Omni engine to make it compliant with the latest emission norms and launch an executive sedan to compete with the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic.

India's largest tractor maker by sales Mahindra & Mahindra slipped 2.86% to Rs 534.10 on profit booking after Monday's 11.86% rally triggered by strong sales in the month just gone by. Total sales of vehicles rose 14.85% to 23,004 units in April 2009 over in April 2008.

India's largest pharma company by sales Ranbaxy surged 3.46% to Rs 176.55 after the company said it has launched phase-III clinical trials for its Anti-Malaria drug Arterolanc Maleate Piperaquine phosphate in India, Bangladesh and Thailand. The company expects to complete the trial and apply for marketing authorisation by late calendar year 2010. It was the top gainer from the Sensex pack.

Jubilant Organosys spurted 13.38% to Rs 133 after the company said its unit has singed a pact with AstraZeneca for research collaboration. The company made this announcement during trading hours today, 5 May 2009.

Capital goods stocks rose after L&T, India's largest engineering and construction company by sales, recently said it expects strong order flow in the current financial year ending March 2010. L&T advanced 2.48% to Rs 976. India's largest power equipment marker by sales Bharat Heavy Electricals gained 0.94% to Rs 1723.

Suzlon Energy gained 10.69% to Rs 73 extending gains for the third session after the firm raised its stake in Germany's REpower Systems to 76%, after paying Martifer 30 million euros last week.

Outsourcing focussed IT stocks slumped on a firm rupee. India's second largest software services exporter by sales Infosys plunged 3.77% to Rs 1567.80 even as its ADR gained 6.71% on Monday, 4 May 2009.

India's largest software services exporter by sales TCS lost 2.61% to Rs 649.80. The stock lost on reports Chrysler, the bankrupt US automaker, plans to scale down its offshore outsourcing of information technology projects to vendors such as TCS in the near term, as America's third-largest automaker prepares to undergo a massive business transformation steered by the Obama administration and sell its assets to Italy's Fiat.

However India's third largest software services exporter by sales Wipro rose 0.95% to Rs 368.05 after the company said its unit Wipro Infotech has won a nine-year outsourcing contract from Unitech Wireless. The stock rebounded sharply from day's low of Rs 353.40

The rupee rose today, 5 May 2009 helped by gains in other Asian currencies. The partially convertible rupee was at 49.45 per dollar, stronger than its Monday's close of 49.91/92.

A stronger rupee affects operating profit of IT firms negatively as they earn most of their revenues from exports.

India's second largest cellular services provider by sales Reliance Communication rose 2.81% to Rs 235.60, extending yesterday's 6.75% surge. Consolidated net profit as per Indian GAAP declined 3% to Rs 1454.31 crore on 10% growth in sales to Rs 5797.77 crore in Q4 March 2009 over Q4 March 2008. The company unveiled the results on Thursday, 30 April 2009

India's largest private sector firm by market capitalisation and oil refiner Reliance Industries (RIL) was down 0.97% to Rs 1867. Nevertheless, the stock came off day's low of Rs 1838.25. Reports the Securities & Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has issued show cause notice to its refining unit Reliance Petroleum (RPL) for alleged insider trading and violation of the Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices (FUTP) triggered slide on the counter. RPL lost 0.68% to Rs 116. RPL is set to be merged with RIL, with RPL shareholders getting 1 share of RIL for every 16 held.

Shares of oil marketing firms HPCL (down 3.42%), BPCL (down 3.19%), and IOC (down 1.32%) fell as oil rose. State-run oil marketing firms suffer revenue loss on domestic sale of petrol, diesel, LPG and kerosene at a controlled price.

Light, sweet crude for June 2009 delivery rose $1.27, or 2.4%, to $54.47 a barrel on Monday, 4 May 2009 as investors responded to better-than-expected readings on pending home sales and construction spending in the US

Cement shares retraced from day's high after gaining on the back of healthy dispatches in April 2009. India's largest cement maker by sales ACC fell 1.14% to Rs 648. The stock came off day's high of Rs 670.90. ACC's cement dispatches rose 4.05% to 1.8 million tonne in April 2009 over April 2008. The company announced the monthly dispatches figures after trading hours on Monday, 4 May 2009.

India's largest dam builder Jaiprakash Associates fell 0.51% to Rs 146.50. The stock declined from day's high of Rs 152.45. The company's cement dispatches increased 28% in April 2009 over April 2008

India's second largest cement maker by sales Ambuja Cements fell 2.68% to Rs 79.80. The stock came off the day's high of Rs 83. The company's cement dispatches rose 10.7% rise in cement dispatches to 1.64 million tonnes in April 2009 over April 2008.

Aditya Birla group cement firms Grasim (down 0.27% to Rs 1793, off day's high of Rs 1842), and UltraTech Cement (down 1.01% off day's high of Rs 605.20), fell. The Aditya Birla group group today, 5 May 2009 said dispatches grew 17.4% at 31.82 lakh tonnes in April 2009 over April 2008.

FMCG shares considered as defensives in times of market downturn, slipped as investors shifted their focus to high growth stocks in a rising stock market. Hindustan Unilever (down 1.17%), Britannia Industries (down 2.05%), ITC (down 3.86%), Marico (down 0.73%), edged lower.

ICICI Bank was the top traded counter on BSE with turnover of Rs 324 crore followed by Reliance Capital (Rs 298.19 crore), Unitech (Rs 251.63 crore), DLF (Rs 214.95 crore) and Reliance Industries (198.39 crore).

Unitech topped the volume chart on BSE clocking volume of 4.69 crore shares followed by Suzlon Energy (2.20 crore shares), Reliance Natural Resources (2.15 crore shares), IFCI (1.87 crore shares) and HDIL (1.14 crore shares).

Sugar shares gained on reports India may slow imports of the sweetener after prices climbed to the highest in almost three years. Bajaj Hindusthan (up 21.63%), Balrampur Chini Mills (up 5.95%), and Shree Renuka Sugars (up 8.59%), rose.

ECE Industries gained 10% to Rs 143.45 after a block deal of 5.39 lakh shares was executed on BSE at Rs 133 per share. The block deal constituted 12.29% of the company's equity.

Everest Industries jumped 10.21% to Rs 75.55 after net profit soared 3541.18% to Rs 12.38 crore 116.75% surge in net sales to Rs 170.21 crore in Q4 March 2009 over Q4 March 2008. The company announced the results during trading hours today, 5 May 2009.

Pre Session Commentary - May 5 2009

Today domestic markets are likely to open with positive as the US markets closed in green and majority of Asian markets have also opened positive. After a staggering surge in yesterday’s trade today one could expect some profit booking pressures across broader level. The cues from other Asian markets and also the opening of the European markets would further decide the movements of domestic benchmark indices. The US home sales data for March shows some sign of improvement and therefore domestic realty sector may get some boost today.

On Monday, domestic markets spurred with staggering numbers as the traders pushed the front line stocks to new highs. The global positive news further amplified the surge towards the northward. The Chinese Purchasing Manager’s Index rose to above the comfort level of 50 which means that the manufacturing is expanding in China. And on the other hand the Consumer Confidence index in US recorded phenomenal readings thus paving way for a certain bull run across the globe. The Sensex closed above the 12k mark ever since October 2008 and Nifty sparked above the 3650 level. Phenomenal buying was witnessed in sectors like Metal, IT, Bankex, CG and Teck stocks as they spurred by 8.77%, 8.40%, 7.89% and 5.88% respectively. We expect the markets to be trading positive with mild volatility.

The BSE Sensex closed higher by 731.50 points at 12,134.75 and NSE Nifty ended up by 180.05 points at 3,654.00. BSE Mid Caps and Small Caps closed with gains of 137.43 points and 140.80 points at 3,651.29 and 4,081.70 respectively. The BSE Sensex touched intraday high of 12,161.90 and intraday low of 11,635.24.

On Monday, the US stock markets closed in green. The relative strength of the foreign markets along with the China’s April PMI report which rose more than 50 helped boost the sentiments of investors. Optimism was further bolstered by news that pending home sales for March advanced by a better-than-expected 3.2% month-over-month. On the other hand, reports suggest Wells Fargo need more capital and the Wall Street Journal reports that Citi Group may need addition capital injection of $10 billion. US light crude oil futures for June inclined by 2.3% at $54.43 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) inclined by 214.33 points to close at 8,426.71 The NASDAQ Composite (RIXF) index gained by 44.36 points to close at 1,763.56 and the S&P 500 (SPX) inclined by 29.72 points to close at 907.24.
Today major stock markets in Asia are trading positive. Shanghai composite is flat at 2,555.28. Hang Seng is trading low by 78.96 points at 16,302.09 followed by, Strait Times which is up by 26.40 points at 2,055.11. While Taiwan Weighted is also up by 30.87 points at 6,361.27 and Seoul Composite points is also up by 28.56 points at 1,397.92 respectively. Japan’s Nikkei is up with phenomenal gains of 149.11 points at 8,977.37.

Indian ADRs ended mixed. In technology sector, Infosys ended down by 0.36% along with Satyam by 1.67%. Further, Wipro gained 0.96% whereas Patni Computers closed down by 1.02%. In banking sector ICICI Bank lost 0.39 % while HDFC Bank advanced by 1.24%. In telecommunication sector Tata Communication gained 0.04% whereas MTNL declined by 0.34%. Sterlite Industries increased by 0.35%.

The FIIs on Monday stood as net buyers in equity and debt. Gross equity purchased stood at Rs 2,869.30 Crore and gross debt purchased stood at Rs 410.10 Crore, while the gross equity sold stood at Rs 2,524.70 Crore and gross debt sold stood at Rs. 244.50 Crore. Therefore, the net investment of equity and debt reported were Rs 344.50 Crore and Rs 165.60 Crore respectively.

On Monday, the Rupee closed at Rs. 49.57/59, 12 paise stronger than its previous close of Rs. 50.04/05. The rupee gained strength on the back of staggering rise in the local stock markets increasing further hopes of green back inflow.

On BSE, total number of shares traded were 43.15 Crore and total turnover stood at Rs 4,753.56 Crore. On NSE, total number of shares traded was 93.44 Crore and total turnover was Rs 15,862.57 Crore.

Top traded volumes on NSE Nifty – Unitech with total volume traded 107449449 shares, followed by Suzlon Energy with 34312299 shares, DLF with 19979337 shares, ICICI Bank 18597242 shares and SAIL with 16121776 shares respectively.

On NSE Future and Options, total number of contracts traded in index futures was 680991 with a total turnover of Rs 11,908.09 Crore. Along with this total number of contracts traded in stock futures were 413220 with a total turnover of Rs 16,335.49 Crore. Total numbers of contracts for index options were 923214 with a total turnover of Rs 16,869.21 Crore and total numbers of contracts for stock options were 29216 and notional turnover was Rs 1,232.02 Crore.

Today, Nifty would have a support at 3,689 and resistance at 3,708 and BSE Sensex has support at 12,180 and resistance at 12,307.

Firm global indices indicates positive open

After posting biggest gains in the last session, the bias for the market may remain positive. The market is expected to make further headways on surging international indices and prevailing strong bullish sentiment. However, investors should remain cautious on account of the prevalence of a intra-day volatility. Among the local indices, the Nifty could test higher levels in the 3750-3800 range and has a support in the 3600-3550 range. The Sensex on the downside may slip to 12000 and may face resistance at 12300.

Major US indices rose Monday, pushing the major gauges to multi-month highs, as a better-than-expected housing market report intensified hopes that the economy is closer to stabilizing. While the Dow Jones flared up by 214 points at 8427, the Nasdaq moved up by 44 points to close at 1764.

All the Indian ADRs traded firm on the US bourses except MTNL. ICICI Bank led the pack with gains of over 14.16% followed by Wipro & HDFC Bank gained 10-12% each. While, Infosys, Tata Motors, Patni Computer and VSNL jumped over 3-6% and Satyam, Dr Reddy's and Rediff closed with the marginal gains.

Crude oil prices eased, with the Nymex light crude oil for June delivery falling by 39 cents to close at $54.08 a barrel. In the commodity space, the Comex gold for June delivery advanced $14 to settle at $902.20 an ounce.

Market may extend gain

Indices may extend rally backed by the sustained upward momentum across the globe. Strong foreign fund buying in Indian equities in the previous session may also ignite investor sentiment.

Foreign institutional investors provisionally brought shares worth Rs 1,417.28 crore to the Indian equity market, pushing the BSE benchmark index beyond 12,000-point level, highest in the last seven months. However, domestic institutional investors booked profits and sold net Rs 92.60 crore worth of shares.

Most of the Asian indices rallied as investors continued to buy into hopes for a global economic recovery. Key indices in Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, and Japan were up by between 1.27% to 2.09%. However, key indices in China, Hong Kong, and Jakarta were marginally down by between 0.14% to 0.67%.

The US markets continued their upward march, kicking off the first full week of May on a positive note. The move was spurred by positive economic signs and strength in banks before the release of stress test results. The market move was also boosted by some positive earnings results and hopes that the Swine Flu epidemic would not be as bad as feared. The Dow gained 214.33 points, or 2.6%, to 8,426.74. The Nasdaq composite index rose 44.36 points, or 2.6%, to 1,763.56. The S&P 500 index rose 29.72 points to 907.24.

Asian stocks open in positive

Asian stocks advanced, as better-than-expected US home sales added to signs the worst of the global recession has passed.

Hong Kong`s Hang Seng index rose 190.95 points, or 1.17%, to trade at 16,572.

China`s Shanghai Composite climbed 13.31 points, or 0.52%, to trade at 2,573.22.

Taiwan`s Taiex index jumped 68.25 points, or 1.08%, to trade at 6,398.65.

Singapore`s Straits Times rose 50.64 points, or 2.50%, to trade at 2,079.35. (7:54 a.m., IST)

Japan and South Korea`s markets are not trading today.

Aventis, Bank of India, CESC, Indoco Remedies, KS Oils, Nestle, Subros, Tech Mahindra, Titan Industries

Aventis, Bank of India, CESC, Indoco Remedies, KS Oils, Nestle, Subros, Tech Mahindra, Titan Industries

Turnover declines

DLF May 2009 futures at discount

Nifty May 2009 futures were at 3659.90, at a premium of 5.90 points as compared to the spot closing of 3,654. Turnover in NSE's futures & options (F&O) segment was Rs 46,344.80 crore, much lower than Rs 80,063.40 crore on Wednesday, 29 April 2009.

DLF May 2009 futures were at discount at 225.50 compared to the spot closing of 233.35.

Tata Steel May 2009 futures were near spot price at 263.50 compared to the spot closing of 263.20.

Jaiprakash Associates May 2009 futures were near spot price at 147.35 compared to the spot closing of 147.60.

In the cash market, the S&P CNX Nifty gained 180.05 points or 5.18% at 3,654.

Lanco Infratech

Lanco Infratech

Daily News Roundup - May 5 2009

OVL, the overseas arm of ONGC, is likely to invest US$1.5bn in an oil block in Iraq. (FE)

Tata Steel hikes prices of long steel products by Rs300-500ton. (FE)

NALCO fears ~33% drop in its alumina output after 16 days, due to shortage of bauxite. (BS)

ACC’s shipments rise to 1.8mn tons in April, higher by 4% yoy. (ET)

Aditya Birla Group, which owns Grasim and UltraTech, cement dispatches grew by 17% yoy to 3.2mn tons from 2.7mn tons. (ET)

Ambuja Cements dispatches for April were higher to 1.6mn tons against 1.5mn tons last year. (FE)

Tata Motors Nano bookings have crossed 0.2mn garnering nearly Rs25bn. (ET)

Tata Motors passenger vehicles volumes dipped by 9.6% in April 09 to 13,410 units against 14,843 units last year. (BS)

M&M reported a 35% jump in tractor sales for April 09 to 11,640 units. (BS)

Indo-Austrian motorcycle alliance of Bajaj Auto and KTM will roll out its first products into the Indian market. (BS)

Ratnagiri Gas and Power Ltd board is expected to sign gas deal with Reliance Industries during the week. (ET)

Investors reject the US$500mn FCCB restructuring proposal of Suzlon. (ET)

DLF exited from the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s 9,300 acre Bidadi Satellite Township Project. (BL)

DLF may sell 50% stake in new Saket hotel for Rs750mn. (ET)

Purvankara Projects my consider restructuring part of its Rs2.8bn debt which is due for payment over the next 12 months. (Mint)

GMR Infra board will meet on 9th May 09 to discuss the raising of funds through the issue of various securities. (Mint)

Shoppers Stop plans to open 12 outlets with a total area of 0.65mn sq ft in the next 3 years to take advantage of the fall in mall rentals. (BS)

Ranbaxy’s clinical trials for its malaria drug in final trial stage. (BS)

Canara Bank launched ‘SME Sulabh’ a new business model for increasing credit flow to the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises sector. (BL)

Essar Oil's Jamnagar refinery resumed operations on Sunday after its shutdown, which began on April 16. (BL)

Maruti Suzuki expects its upcoming model Ritz, based on the Swift platform, to sell about 9,000 units a month. (BL)

Maruti Suzuki today indicated that it plans to launch a 660 cc car in the next couple of years. (BS)

Maruti Suzuki plans to increase its production capacity by 0.2mn over the next 2 years to cater to the buoyant small car market. (ET)

United Spirits stake sale talks with Diageo make no headway. (BL)

IDFC Project Equity set to invest US$110mn in two projects. (BL)

PMO rejects the communication ministry’s decision to cut the licence fee for telecom operators. (ET)

Government will allocated the gas from KG-D6 fields to steel plants if the identified buyers are unable to use the fuel. (ET)

Government has proposed a 20% safeguard duty on the import of coated paper and paperboard. (ET)

Delhi may impose a special cess on petrol and diesel to raise money for expanding the Metro rail network ahead of next year’s commonwealth games. (ET)

India plans to impose anti dumping duty on the imports of phosphoric acid. (FE)

Mumbai’s second airport at Navi Mumbai received the clearance from the Bombay High Court earlier last week. (BS)

Follow-through rally expected

In golf as in life it is the follow through that makes the difference.

Some prankster may have threatened to blow up the BSE and NSE buildings on Monday. But except the cops and a few others nobody seemed to be bothered much as the bulls were firing on all cylinders. Climbing Mount 12K has taken the Sensex six odd months if you please. The market seems to have done a global catch up rally. And it appears that the global funds are more confident than their local counterparts.

Today promises to be another bright start for the bulls. But, the Hang Seng has slipped in the red after a higher start and the Shanghai market is more or less flat.

All eyes are now on the election results. A government formed by either the UPA or the NDA will be welcome. But, anything other than this scenario may temporarily make some dent in the sentiment.

There is bound to be a correction at some point during this rally. So, lock in some gains and put the money back when the anticipated slide takes place. Overall, the mood remains upbeat on the back of improving economic data and return of risk appetite. These are times we know many won't listen but it really helps to avoid stocks with weak fundamentals.

IndusInd Bank and Swaraj Engine will announce their results today.

Larsen and Toubro (L&T) is to announce a new development in its international operations later today in Mumbai.

FIIs were net buyers in the cash segment on Monday at Rs14.17bn while the local institutions were net sellers at Rs926mn. In the F&O segment, the foreign funds were net buyers at Rs10.4bn. On April 29, the foreign funds were net buyers at Rs3.44bn in the cash segment.

US stocks surged anew on Monday, sending the key indices to multi-month highs after reports on pending home sales and construction spending added to optimism that a global economy recovery may already be underway. Data released earlier in the day showed that China's manufacturing sector registered its first growth in nine months, sending stocks in Asia and Europe sharply higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 214 points, or 2.6%, to 8,426.74, ending at the highest point since Jan. 13. The S&P 500 index added nearly 30 points or 3.4%, to 907.24, ending above 900 for the first time since Jan. 8 and turning higher for the year. The Nasdaq Composite index rose 44 points, or 2.6% to 1,763.56, ending at the highest point since Nov. 4.

US stocks have been surging since March 9 on bets that the worst for the economy is over. Those expectations were buffeted on Monday by the day's economic news.

The March pending home sales index from the National Association of Realtors jumped 3.2% from February, surprising economists who were looking for the index to hold steady.

Another report, from the government, showed that construction spending rose 0.3% versus forecasts for a decline of 1.6%. Spending fell 1% in February.

Investors were also responding to weekend comments from Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett, who said he sees the recession ending soon and predicts that no big bank will fail. He also talked up Wells Fargo, one of Berkshire's largest holdings.

US stocks had a strong April, in which the S&P 500 spiked 9.4%, the Dow gained 7.3% and the Nasdaq jumped 12.3%. The S&P 500 and Dow have gained for seven of the past eight weeks; the Nasdaq has jumped eight weeks in a row.

But, there are still enough headwinds for the market that makes analysts wary to predict that the bear market is over.

Financial shares are likely to be choppy ahead of the release of the government's "stress tests" on Thursday. The government will release details on the 19 individual companies tested as well as the broad group of corporations.

The results are expected to include estimated loan losses in the event that the economy deteriorates further, along with an estimate of how much more capital banks would need to raise in such an environment.

Citigroup is reportedly among the banks that will need to generate more money to stay afloat. The bank may have to raise another $10 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Bank of America shot down reports in the Financial Times (FT) that it has been told by the government that it needs to raise $10 billion in fresh capital. Wells Fargo has reportedly been asked to raise additional money as the result of preliminary stress tests.

However, shares of the three big lenders rallied, along with the rest of the bank sector, as investors took the news in stride. The KBW Bank sector index gained 14.7%.

Sprint Nextel reported a quarterly profit, excluding items, surprising analysts who were looking for a quarterly loss. Shares gained 8%.

Treasury prices were little changed, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note at 3.15%, little changed from on Friday.

In currency trading, the dollar fell versus the euro and gained against the yen.

US light crude oil for June delivery rose $1.27 to settle at $54.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

COMEX gold for June delivery rose $14 to settle at $902.20 an ounce.

European stocks too advanced further on Thursday, helping a key regional index to record its best-ever monthly performance in April.

Trading over the 200-point mark for the first time since early February, the pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 index jumped 1.5% to 200.23. This move brings gains for the month to 13.5% - the best monthly performance for the index since Stoxx started tracking the data at the end of 1986.

Germany's DAX 30 index rose 1.4% to 4,769.45, while the French CAC-40 index was up 1.4% at 3,159.85.

Indian markets extended gains to second straight trading session on Monday with the BSE Sensex rising over 1,100 points in two days.

The metals, IT and the banking indices were in momentum outperforming the main index. Even the mid-cap and the small-cap stocks attracted buying both the indices added over 3.5% each.

Finally, the BSE Sensex rallied 731 points to close at 12,134. The NSE Nifty surged by 180 points to close at 3,654.

All the 30-components of Sensex ended in the positive terrain with Sterlite, Hindalco, HDFC, ICICI Bank, Tata Steel and M&M leading from the front.

Shares of Siemens rallied by over 9% to Rs336 after the company's Energy Sector has received an order for approximately Rs790mn for the supply of 11kv Air Insulated Switchgear from the Company's technology partner Qatari German Switchgear Co. WLL for supply to Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (KAHRAMAA) distribution network. The order is required to be completed over a period of 2 years.

Shares of Reliance Communications surged by over 6.5% to Rs229 after net profit beat market estimates. Net income fell 3.3% to Rs14.5bn in the three months ended March 31, from Rs15bn a year earlier.

Shares of Maruti surged by over 3% to Rs838 after the company announced that it sold a total of 71,748 vehicles in April 2009. This includes 6,891 units for export.

This is the fourth consecutive month of sales crossing 70,000 units mark. The company had sold a total of 62,336 vehicles in April 2008. Maruti Suzuki's volume in the domestic A2 segment grew by 9% while in the A3 segment the sales volume grew by 69% during the month as compared to sales in April 2008.

Shares of Bajaj Auto gained by 3.7% to Rs663. The company’s total vehicle sales in April declined by 23% to 169,119 units from 221,843 units sold in the same period last year.

The company’s exports slipped by 29% in March to 51,887 units from 73,624 units from last year. Motorcycle sales declined by 26% in March. However, three wheeler sales rose by 5% to 18,867 units in March.

After a strong rally on Monday there is a likelihood of correction as traders and investors would look to book some profits at higher levels. The outcome of the Lok Sabha could also provide a trigger. Another cause for concern is the spread of swine flu and its economic fallout.

SGX Nifty Live Update - 2 - May 5 2009

SGX Nifty trading 3,644.0 and is -8.5 points

Indian Hotels Company

We recommend a buy on the Indian Hotels Company stock from a short-term trading perspective. After recording a 52-week low at Rs 34 on March 12, the stock began to trend up. It has been on a medium-term uptrend since the March low. After crossing its 50-day moving average, the stock witnessed a sharp rally during the first week of April. However, it encountered resistance at Rs 55 and is consolidating sideways. On May 4, the stock resumed its uptrend by gaining almost 9 per cent, accompanied with good volume. The stock is trading well above its 21- and 50-day moving averages. The daily relative strength index (RSI) has re-entered the bullish zone from the neutral region. We are bullish on the stock from a short-term perspective. We anticipate it to break through the resistance at Rs 55 and rally until it hits our price target of Rs 60 in the near future. Traders with short-term trading perspective can buy the stock while maintaining a stop-loss at Rs 50.5 level.

SGX Nifty Live Update - May 5 2009

SGX Nifty Live Update at 3,672.0 trading at +19.5

Bullion metals end higher

Weak dollar imparts good shine on precious metals

Precious metals ended higher on Monday, 04 May, 2009 at Comex. Prices rose today as optimistic economic reports mainly on the housing front weakened the dollar thereby increasing the appeal of precious metals as a safe bet for investment.

Generally, a stronger dollar pressures demand for dollar-denominated commodities, such as crude oil and gold, which become more expensive for holders of other currencies and also vice versa.

On Monday, Comex Gold for June delivery gained $14 (1.6%) to close at $902.2 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Last week, gold ended lower by 3%. Year to date, gold prices are higher by 1.5%.

For the month of April, gold lost 3.7%, the second consecutive monthly drop. For the month of March, gold fell 2.1%, down for the first month in five. But the metal gained 4.3% in the first quarter. Before March, for the month of February, gold ended higher by 7.4%. For January, 2009, gold had gained 3.9%.

On 17 March, 2008 prices had skyrocketed to a high of $1,034/ounce. But prices have dropped somewhat (15%) since then.

On Monday, Comex silver futures for July delivery gained 61.3 cents (4.9%) at $13.113 an ounce. Year to date, silver has climbed 11.4% this year. For 2008, silver had lost 24%.

On Monday, in the currency market, the dollar fell after the home-sales data, with the dollar index, which gauges the value of the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major rivals, down 0.8% at 83.847.

In 2008, gold prices ended higher by 5.5%. The dollar index had gained 12% that year.

Last year, the weakening dollar and higher global demand for raw materials had led to records for commodities including gold. Gold reached a record in March 2008 as a U.S. housing slump and credit crisis spurred the Federal Reserve to slash borrowing costs. In the last move, the Federal Reserve has cuts its target bank lending rate to 0.25% from 5.25% in September, 2007. The Fed did it in nine steps.

Prior to 2008, gold had witnessed the greatest annual gain in twenty eight years by gaining $200/ounce (31%) in FY 2007 as lower interest rates had sent the dollar tumbling, and crude-oil prices rose to a record. Silver had climbed 16% in FY 2007. In 2006, silver had jumped 46% while gold gained 23%.

At the MCX, gold prices for June delivery closed higher by Rs 142 (0.99%) at Rs 14,433 per 10 grams. Prices rose to a high of Rs 14,595 per 10 grams and fell to a low of Rs 14,275 per 10 grams during the day's trading.

At the MCX, silver prices for May delivery closed Rs 671 (3.2%) higher at Rs 21,445/Kg. Prices opened at Rs 20,791/kg and rose to a high of Rs 21,548/Kg during the day's trading.

Crude glides up again

Strong housing report boosts prices

Crude oil ended higher for the fourth straight day on Monday, 04 May, 2009. Couple of optimistic economic reports gave Wall Street another boost today. Better than expected data on construction and pending home sales front gave investors some hope that the worst might be over in terms of the ongoing recession and energy demand might pick up in the coming months.

On Monday, crude-oil futures for light sweet crude for June delivery closed at $54.47/barrel (higher by $1.27 or 2.3%) on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It earlier fell more than 1% to as low as $52.56. Last week, crude ended higher by 3.2%.

Crude ended April higher by 2.9%. Previously, March trading ended up 10.9%. It rallied 11.3% in the first quarter. For the month of February, crude prices had ended higher by 1.5%.

Oil prices had reached a high of $147 on 11 July, 2008 but have dropped almost 61% since then. Year to date, in 2009, crude prices are higher by 16.3%. On a yearly basis, crude prices are lower by 48%.

Economic reports garnered most of the attention since morning today. The National Association of Realtors reported today that pending home sales in US improved in March due to falling prices, lower mortgage rates and tax subsidies.

As per the report, NAR's pending home sales index rose 3.2% in March after a 2% rise in February. It was also up 1.1% compared with a year earlier. The index is based on signed sales contracts on previously owned homes. Sales are recorded in the existing-home sales report upon closing, usually six to eight weeks after the contract is signed.

In a separate report, The Commerce Department reported today that construction outlays in US rose 0.3% in March, better than the 1.5% decline expected. January and February spending was revised higher as well.

On Monday, in the currency market, the dollar fell after the home-sales data, with the dollar index, which gauges the value of the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major rivals, down 0.8% at 83.847.

Also at the Nymex on Monday, June reformulated gasoline rose 6.86 cents, or 4.5%, to $1.586 a gallon and June heating oil added 4.61 cents, or 3.3%, to $1.4345 a gallon.

Natural gas for June delivery advanced 17.9 cents, or 5%, to $3.725 per million British thermal units.

Crude prices had ended FY 2008 lower by 54%, the largest yearly loss since trading began at Nymex.

At the MCX, crude oil for May delivery closed at Rs 2,678/barrel, higher by Rs 34 (1.3%) against previous day's close. Natural gas for April delivery closed at Rs 184.6/mmbtu, higher by Rs 6.7/mmbtu (3.7%).