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PC gives day traders sleepless nights

Sunday 11 July 2004

MUMBAI: When P Chidambaram dropped his budget bombshell - a 0.15 per cent transaction tax on players in the stockmarket- one community in particular hit the panic button. Day traders, that motley bunch that makes a living out of buying and selling stocks within a single day, began to wonder if the party was over. "There’s no way I can survive in the market if this tax stays," says Viren Solanki, a father of two. "My livelihood will be wiped out."

Thanks to the FM, an arcane term has suddenly hit the public consciousness. In a nutshell: the day trader sits glued to a computer/TV screen, obsessively following the surges and dips of the market, squeezing a few rupees or even paise out of each one. A day trader could be a student, a housewife, a professional or anything else but s/he is first and foremost a gambler. And this collective gambling, day traders like to claim, accounts for 80 per cent of the volumes on the BSE and NSE.

"I got into day trading a long time ago," says Dr Pankaj Joshi. Entering the market at the age of 18, Joshi leads a schizophrenic existence - anaesthetist in the morning, trader for the rest of the day. "I started trading for the love of profit, and the market nurtures my gambling instinct," he says.

See online : The Times of India


in The Times of India, Sunday, July 11, 2004.

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