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Global markets: Tech boost…

Mar 27, 2004

Despite selling pressure on Friday, the US markets ended the week in the positive, thanks mainly to the rally that was witnessed on Thursday. As a result, while the NASDAQ closed the week with 1% gains, the Dow ended marginally higher. The US markets started off the week on a bad note as both the indices lost sharply following the news of killing of the founder of a leading Palestinian group, thus sparking fears of retaliation. The weakness persisted for the next two days and the markets continued to look for direction. However, the decline was reversed on Thursday and markets witnessed a strong rally after nearly seven weeks of directionless and lackluster trade. The momentum failed to continue on Friday and trades remained largely lackluster, thus pointing to the fact that the correction period is not necessarily over. It is being felt that the next news that would have a significant impact on the markets would be next Friday's payrolls report.

Indices 19-Mar-04 26-Mar-04 Change
NASDAQ 1,940 1,960 1.0%
Hang Seng 12,791 12,483 -2.4%
Nikkei 11,419 11,771 3.1%
<BSE 5,443 5,529 1.6%
FTSE 4,418 4,358 -1.4%
Dow 10,187 10,213 0.3%
Dax 3,819 3,822 0.1%

As far as other major indices across the world are concerned, Japan's benchmark index, Nikkei, emerged as the highest gainer, registering 3% gains over the week. The index closed at a new 22 month high as tech stocks such as Sony and Fujitsu witnessed significant buying interest mainly on the back of NASDAQ's strong gains. Lack of business confidence in the German markets continued to haunt the indices as the country's benchmark index, Dax, remained largely stagnant for the week. The UK benchmark, FTSE, performed worse than its German counterpart mainly on the back of weaknesses among retail and banking stocks and as a result lost a little more than 1% over the week.

(Price in US$) 19-Mar-04 26-Mar-04 Change
Dr.Reddy's 23.8 23.6 -0.8%
HDFC Bank 29.5 29.2 -1.0%
ICICI Bank 13.9 14.2 2.2%
Infosys 82.8 83.7 1.1%
MTNL 7.3 7.4 1.4%
Rediff 7.9 7.8 -1.3%
Satyam 20.4 21.4 4.9%
Satyam Infoway 6.1 5.8 -4.9%
VSNL 8.4 8.7 3.6%
Wipro 41.0 43.1 5.1%

On the ADRs front, the robust gains notched up by the NASDAQ seemed to have had a spillover effect on the Indian ADRs of tech and telecom as these ended the week in the positive. Tech major, Wipro emerged as the lead gainer among tech ADRs while ILD major VSNL, took the honours among telecom ADRs. Dotcom ADRs and pharma major Dr Reddy's, however, ended the week in the red, with Satyam Infoway shaving off 5% over the week and ending as the biggest loser. Banking ADRs, on the other hand, remained mixed with ICICI Bank gaining 2% and HDFC Bank ending lower by 1% for the week.

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