Markets start year’s last week with a bang (Roundup)

December 29th, 2008 - 6:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Dec 29 (IANS) Indian equities markets started the last week of 2008 with handsome gains, with a key index rising 2.19 percent Monday from its previous close.The sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) closed trade at 9,533.52 points Monday, up 204.6 points or 2.19 percent from its previous close of 9,328.92 points.

However, some analysts remained hesitant to term Monday’s rally as an end to last week’s dismal string of lows.

“Investors should not read too much into today’s (Monday) spurt. A short position build-up usually results in such a cover-up, which helped the market move up,” said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, head of the capital markets arm and director of India’s fourth largest share brokerage firm, the Delhi-based SMC Group.

The market was largely positive with 1,291 stocks advancing against 1,093 decline. Eighty-two stocks remained unchanged.

Broader S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) gained 72.5 points or 2.54 percent to close at 2,929.95 points.

Market indices like the midcap index rose 1.32 percent, while the smallcap index gained 0.65 percent.

Of the 13 sectoral indices on the BSE, the only non-performer was the auto sector as the outlook for this industry remained gloomy.

On the launch of Hyundai’s new compact car i20, Heung Soo Lheem, managing director of Hyundai Motors India, confirmed the fears engulfing the industry. “The fourth quarter of 2008 was disastrous for the auto industry although December provided a breather but the outlook is not very bright for the next three months,” he said.

Asian markets were sluggish with the Nikkei, a key index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, rising 0.09 percent.

However, the Hang Seng, a key index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, gained 1.02 percent.

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