Sensex closes above 29,000, Nifty crosses 8,800 ; SBI, M&M lead gains

The Sensex closed 289.83 points higher at 29,094.93, while the Nifty ended up 93.95 points at 8,805.5

India’s benchmark Sensex surged for the fourth consecutive session on Friday, led by shares of banks, and FMCG and auto companies.

The 30-share S&P BSE Sensex closed 1.01%, or 289.83 points, higher at 29,094.93, while the National Stock Exchange’s broader 50-share Nifty ended up 1.08%, or 93.95 points, at 8,805.5.

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP), a measure of factory output, rose 1.7% in December compared with 3.9% a month ago, while a new series of retail inflation with 2012 as the base year showed the consumer-price inflation quickened to 5.11% from 4.28% in December due to rising food prices.

Investors expect that the current inflation is below the Reserve Bank of India’s 6% target and slowing IIP will boost pressure on the central bank to cut interest rates.

Among the gainers, the State Bank of India (SBI) rose 7.96% to Rs.307.05 after the company posted a 30% increase in net profit for the December ended quarter, helped by an increase in other income and strong treasury gains during the quarter. Provisions against bad loans rose even though non performing assets remained largely steady on a sequential basis. Net profit for the third quarter of the fiscal was at Rs.2,910.06 crore, up by 30.24% compared to Rs.2,234.34 crore in the comparable quarter last year.

Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M) rose 5.11% to Rs.1,192 ahead of its December quarter earnings due later in the day. Analysts polled by Bloomberg were expecting net profit will be at Rs.660.80 crore while net sales will be at Rs.9,355 crore for the current quarter.

Among the losers, GAIL India Ltd fell 3.96% to Rs.406.25, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (Bhel) fell 3.12% to Rs.259.55 after the company posted a dismal performance for the December quarter. Net profit plunged 69.4% to Rs.212.6 crore in the quarter as compared to Rs.694.81 crore a year ago. Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC) fell 1.99% to Rs.339.90.

Among the sectoral indices, the S&P BSE FMCG index was the top gainer, up 1.77%, followed by S&P BSE Healthcare, which rose 1.56%.

ICICI Bank Ltd rose 1.33% to Rs.343.85 after The Economic Times reported that ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has initiated a process to sell upto a 5% stake in the life insurance venture. Long term investors like sovereign funds, pension funds and other financial investors have evinced interest in picking up stake in the life insurance joint venture between ICICI Bank (74%) and Prudential Plc (26%).

SPML Infra Ltd rose 6.44% to Rs.83.5, after the company reported a net profit of Rs.7.56 crore in the December quarter as compared to net loss of Rs.55.78 crore a year ago.

Suzlon Energy Ltd close flat at Rs.19.15 ahead of its earning later today. According to Bloomberg estimates, the company may post a net loss of Rs.523.1 crore while net sales will be at Rs.5,810 crore.

Lupin Ltd rose 3.66% to Rs.1,679.05, after RBI on Thursday that the FIIs/FPIs can now invest up to 49% in Lupin. United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd rose 2.46% to Rs.22.90 after the company reported a net profit of Rs.2.02 crore in the December quarter as compared to net loss of Rs.3.55 crore a year ago.

Power Finance Corp. Ltd fell 2.67% to Rs.275.05, after the government said that it will sell 5% stake in the company.

So far in 2015, the Sensex has gained 5%, while foreign institutional investors have bought $ 2.47 billion from local equity and $ 4.46 billion from bond markets.

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