Indian markets rise to catch up with global bourses (Roundup)

March 12th, 2009 - 7:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, March 12 (IANS) Indian equities markets surged Thursday after a two-day break to catch up with bourses across the world that have made smart gains during the period. A key index ended trade 2.25 percent higher than its previous close.
The 30-scrip Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) sensitive index (Sensex), which opened at 8,274.78 points, rose 183.25 points or 2.25 percent to close at 8,343.75 points.

Similarly, the S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) gained 1.72 percent from its last close to end at 2,617.45 points.

However, broader market indices like the BSE midcap index closed only 0.43 percent higher, while the BSE smallcap index was up just 0.37 percent, indicating that gains were not widespread.

“Today’s rally is basically due to a combination of short covering and positive global cues. Moreover our markets opened after a two-day break and were catching up with major bourses abroad,” said Jagannadham Thunguntula, equity head at SMC Capitals.

Of all the 13 sectoral indices on the exchange, the index for auto, banking and oil and gas stocks gained the most while consumer durables and telecom stocks were seen on the losing side.

Among gainers on the 30 composite Sensex were: ICICI Bank, up 8.1 percent at Rs.284.25; Sterlite, up 7.26 percent at Rs.262.20; Tata Motors, up 6.77 percent at Rs.145.95; and Maruti Suzuki, up 5.83 percent at Rs.688.65.

Telecom major Bharti Airtel’s scrip was hammered after stock exchange data showed that the company’s chief executive Manoj Kohli sold 123,000 shares in two batches March 6 and 9.

The Airtel scrip fell 6.37 percent to close at Rs.550.30 even as Kohli said he sold only his personal holding and continued to hold 180,000 stock options.

Kohli also confirmed that he would continue as the chief executive and joint managing director of the telecom company.

Other losers included: Tata Power, down 2.52 percent at Rs.607.10; NTPC, down 1.56 percent at Rs.173.75; and DLF, down 1.33 percent at Rs.136.85.

The overall market sentiment was mixed, with 1,262 stocks declining, 1,162 advancing and 99 remaining unchanged.

After weeks of selling, foreign funds bought shares to the tune of $3 million Thursday.

In Asian markets, the Hang Seng, a key index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, closed 0.59 percent higher to end at 12,001.53 points.

European markets, which came online before Indian bourses ended trade were, however, ruling in the red, with the FTSE in Britain ruling 1.67 percent below its last closing figure.

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