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Last Updated: Friday, 9 January, 2004, 12:41 GMT
Indian stocks jump to record high
Traders on Bombay stock exchange
A wave of good news helped propel Indian shares higher
Indian stock markets have surged to all time highs, after taxes and import duties were cut on a range of goods.

The Bombay Stock Exchange's key Sensex index broke record after record - it opened at 6,211.06 before surging to an intraday high of 6,249.60.

Indian traders believe the tax cuts should lift domestic consumer spending.

Analysts said the Sensex also benefited from a wave of investor confidence sweeping parts of Asia, which has also boosted Singapore and Hong Kong.

"There is a general feeling of euphoria in the markets and the sentiments are positive, even though we know why the government had introduced the new measures," said stock broker Hemen Kapadia.

The Indian government also slashed taxes on a slew of items from mobile phones, computers and fridges to aviation fuel and medicine, a step seen as the clearest sign yet that India will go to the polls in April or May.

Riding high

"The government is ensuring that the feel-good factor remains strong," chief investment officer of ING Investment Managers Ashim Syal said.

"I will not be surprised if more sops are offered," he added.

Traders added that the market, already riding high on hopes for economic growth, was further boosted by the strong profits reported by Indian software giant Infosys.

The Bangalore-based firm reported a 28% jump in profits to 3.28 billion rupees ($72.1m) in the three months to December.

The company also raised its full-year forecasts on a booming outsourcing business, adding that it expected earnings to grow 30.6% for the year to March 2004, up from an earlier estimate of 25%.

The Nasdaq-listed business has benefited from the recent trend among Western firms to farm out services to cut costs.

Shares in the Infosys were up 147.95 rupees at 5,986.90.




MARKET DATA - 11:37 UK

FTSE 100
5428.78up
22.84 0.42%
Dax
5732.06up
18.55 0.32%
Cac 40
3783.91up
14.37 0.38%
Dow Jones
10403.79up
78.53 0.76%
Nasdaq
2273.57up
35.31 1.58%
Data delayed by at least 15 minutes

SEE ALSO:
Infosys makes first overseas buy
18 Dec 03  |  Business
India's Infosys keeps on growing
10 Oct 03  |  Business
Asian markets start 2004 on high
02 Jan 04  |  Business
Indian shares hit 44-month high
10 Dec 03  |  Business


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