MRF, Bombay Dyeing, Titan, ICICI Prudential Life hit new 52-week high; Idea Cellular gains 10% on tower business sale buzz

S V Krishnamachari
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On a lacklustre day of trading on Indian stock markets-- that saw the two benchmark indices, BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty, snapping the previous day's gains-- select stocks rallied on Wednesday, hitting fresh 52-week highs. Some of these stocks include MRF, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, Titan, Bombay Dyeing and Adani Enterprises. Idea Cellular closed 9.56 percent higher at Rs 113 on news that it was planning to sell its tower business to American Tower Company (ATC).

MRF hit Rs 57,958.65 but ended at Rs 57,040, still 7.66 percent higher from its previous close. Tyre stocks are poised for a bull run after it was reported that imports of tyres from China may pause as the country eyes America that is reportedly planning to lift anti-dumping duty on Chinese tyre imports.

"China has raised their TBR (truck, bus and radial) tyre prices for Indian market by 10-15%, rendering them unattractive. Our checks indicate that Chinese factories have nearly stopped catering to tyre demand from India as US markets were more lucrative," Nitesh Sharma and Dhawal Doshi of Philip Capital said in their note, reported the Economic Times.

Ceat ended 2.85 percent higher at Rs 1,258 after hitting an intraday high of Rs 1,270, Apollo Tyres gained 4.58 percent to close at Rs 194 and JK Tyre & Industries was up 3.51 percent higher at Rs 128.

New 52-week-highs of other stocks include Titan (Rs 467), ICICI Prudential Life Insurance (Rs 378.95), Bombay Dyeing (Rs 70.15), L&T Financial Holdings (Rs 122.80), Adani Enterprises (Rs 122.85) and Can Fin Homes (Rs 2,122.40).

The Sensex closed 45 points lower at 29,398 while the Nifty ended almost flat at 9,091.

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The rupee is on a gaining spree. After hitting a 16-month high of 65.82 to the US dollar on Tuesday, it gained further and was trading at 65.44 on Wednesday. 

The appreciation in the domestic currency affected share prices of Indian IT companies, since they derive a large part of their revenues in dollars.

The proposed sale of tower business by Idea Cellular is seen as a positive sign for the Aditya Birla Group company.

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"The sale of the towers business to ATC will help Idea monetize some of its assets ahead of the proposed merger with Vodafone. It is expected that the Vodafone merger may be announced soon. In fact, Idea has already surged by over 50% in the last couple of months since the proposed merger with Vodafone was announced. Its recently launched Idea Select plan also aided sentiments," brokerage Angel Broking said in a note on Wednesday.

Gold ended Rs 250 lower to close at Rs 28,650 per 10 gm while silver closed at Rs 40,300 per kg, down Rs 500.

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