Day ahead of monetary policy review, Sensex closes 149 points up (Roundup)

July 25th, 2011 - 8:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Sensex Mumbai, July 25 (IANS) A day ahead of the quarterly monetary policy review, a benchmark index for Indian equities markets closed 149 points higher Monday, breaking off from the tight range-bound trading in the first half of the day.

The markets were largely subdued as a rate hike fear by the Reserve Bank of India, kept traders at bay. Trading, however picked up led by big gains in large telecom, metal and auto companies.

Telecom stocks were among the major gainers with Reliance Communications rising a whopping 15 percent and Bharti Airtel up over 5 percent. The rise is on expectations that most companies would increase call rates after Bharti hiked tariffs by 20 percent over the weekend.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 18,753.35 points, closed at 18,871.29 points, up 148.99 points or 0.8 percent from its previous close at 18,722.3 points.

It had moved to an intra-day high of 18,932.27 points.

The 50-scrip S&P; CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also ended higher at 5,680.3 points, up 0.82 percent.

Broader markets too nudged up. The BSE midcap index closed 0.49 percent up and the BSE smallcap index ended 0.5 percent up.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will take up a review of the monetary policy Tuesday, with most fearing that the country’s apex bank will raise interest rates once again.

If it does that, it would be the 11th rate hike since January 2010 and could result in commercial banks passing on the increase to customers, making loans to individuals and companies that much costlier.

The market breadth at the BSE was positive with 1,609 stocks advancing, 1,274 on the decline and 121 remaining unchanged.

There were only four gainers on the 30-scrip Sensex: Reliance Communications, up 14.91 percent at Rs.107.05; Bharti Airtel, up 5.37 percent at Rs.433; M&M;, up 3.49 percent at Rs.748.15 and Hindalco, up 2.32 percent at Rs.180.90.

The losers on the benchmark were: Cipla, down 1.24 percent at Rs.317.30; ITC, down 0.96 percent at Rs.205.30; Hindustan Unilever, down 0.67 percent at Rs.331.65 and Infosys, down 0.66 percent at Rs.2,806.60.

According to data available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), foreign institutional investors bought stocks worth $118.25 million Monday.

Asian markets were mostly in the red.

The Japanese Nikkei Thursday closed 0.81 percent lower at 10,050.11 points.

The Hang Seng of the Hong Kong stock exchange ended 0.68 percent lower at 22,293.29 points, while the Chinese Shanghai composite index ended 2.96 percent lower at 2,688.75 points.

Among European bourses, Britain’s FTSE 100 was ruling 0.2 percent down at 5,923.37 points, and the French CAC 40 was ruling 0.08 percent lower at 3,839.58 points.

The German DAX was flat at 7,327.58 points.

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