NSE Nifty strikes all-time high

At 10:08 IST, the Nifty was up 43.85 points, or 1%, to 4,258.35. It hit a high of 4,259.65 in early trades today, 21 May 2007, surpassing its previous all-time high of 4,245.30, which it had stuck on 8 February 2007.

The 30-share BSE 30-share Sensex was up 134 points to 1,4437. The Sensex is till about 287 points away from its all-time high of 14,723.88 that it had struck on 9 February 2007.

Bank shares extended last week’s gains due to easing of inflation worries. State Bank of India (SBI) moved up 1.5% to Rs 1346, ICICI Bank nearly 1% to Rs 960 and HDFC Bank 1.3% to Rs 1086.50.

India’s wholesale price index rose 5.44% in the 12 months to 5 May 2007, lower than the previous week’s increase of 5.66% due to a high base the year before, data showed on Friday, 18 May 2007. The annual inflation rate was 4.37% in the corresponding week of the previous year.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) edged up 1% to Rs 1717.90. The stock hit a new all-time peak of Rs 1720. The scrip shrugged off media reports it is likely to miss the June 2008 deadline for commercial production of gas from the Krishna Godavari basin. The delay is mainly due to late deliveries of deepwater drilling rigs by Transocean Inc. RIL is relying on these oil rigs to the start the commercial production of gas from the basin.

The market had surged last week ended 18 May 2007 on firm global markets and on reports that there will be early onset of monsoon. Rally in two bank shares SBI, ICICI Bank and in index heavyweight RIL aided the rally.

The 30-share BSE Sensex 507.25 points, or 3.67%, to settle at 14303.41 in the week ended Friday, 18 May 2007. The S&P CNX Nifty rose 137.85 points, or 3.3%, to 4214.50 in the week.