Sensex closes 142 points up; metal stocks gain

Mumbai, Feb 19 (IANS) A benchmark index of the Indian equities markets, the 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) closed Thursday’s trade up 142 points or 0.48 percent.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also made gains in the day’s trade. It was up 26.20 points or 0.30 percent at 8,895.30 points.

“Today’s market activity was the best example of volatility ahead of the budget. At one point, it was down by 100 points from the highest point of the day (8,902) but later it recovered sharply on the news that Greece has submitted loan extension request to its euro area creditors,” said Shrikant Chouhan, head-technical research, Kotak Securities.

“Our domestic news flow has also turned positive in terms of strong response to bidding of coal blocks.”

The Sensex of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 29,434.91 points, closed the day’s trade at 29,462.27 points, up 142.01 points or 0.48 percent from the previous day’s close at 29,320.26 points.

The Sensex had touched a high of 29,522.86 points and a low of 29,108.15 points in the intra-day trade.

“As we have moved sharp in expectation of the budget, we have seen intra-day volatility today though the overall momentum continues to be uptrend,” said Vinod Nair, head-fundamental research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

“The government is expected to increase infrastructure spending, better platform and incentives to manufacturing which will develop positive momentum towards infra, PSUB (public sector undertaking banks) and manufacturing sectors,” Nair said.

Sector-wise, healthy buying was observed in metals, capital goods and information technology (IT) stocks. However, bank, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and healthcare scrip came under selling pressure.

The S&P BSE metal index surged by 393.87 points, capital goods index increased by 232.72 points and IT index moved up by 95.04 points.

However, bank index plunged 131.98 points, FMCG index declined by 77.22 points and healthcare index was lower by 12.77 points.

The major Sensex gainers were: Sesa Sterlite, up 6.95 percent at Rs.219.15; Hindalco Inds, up 3.07 percent at Rs.156.25; Tata Power, up 2.56 percent at Rs.88.30; Tata Steel, up 2.29 percent at Rs.375.60; and Larsen and Toubro, up 2.13 percent at Rs.1,699.50.

The losers were: Wipro, down 1.36 percent at Rs.659.50; Tata Motors, down 1.10 percent at Rs.576.70; ICICI Bank, down 1.08 percent at Rs.338.60; State Bank of India (SBI), down 1.05 percent at Rs.302.35; and ITC, down 0.87 percent at Rs.389.10.

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