Sensex gains 299 points; healthcare stocks rise

Mumbai, March 17 (IANS) After two consecutive sessions of loss, a benchmark index of Indian equities markets, the 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), closed Tuesday’s trade up 299 points or 1.05 percent.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also made healthy gains during the day’s trade. It closed 90.15 points or 1.04 percent up at 8,723.30 points.

The Sensex of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 28,595 points, closed the day’s trade at 28,736.38 points — 298.67 points or 1.05 percent up from the previous day’s close at 28,437.71 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 28,784.35 points and a low of 28,435.45 points in the intra-day trade.

Analysts said the market made healthy gains on the back of positive global cues and strong advance tax numbers.

Charting the market’s movements, analysts said the market’s gains in the early trade were trimmed by profit-booking in the mid-trading session. However, the closing session of the market witnessed a recovery led by pharma, auto and selected private sector banks.

“Positive global market ahead of the crucial Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meet of the US Fed has added sentiment to the market today (Tuesday),” said Vinod Nair, head, fundamental research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

Nair said the market was looking forward to the land and coal bills getting passed during the ongoing budget session.

“As the houses will go in recess from March 20 till April 19, the urgency to pass the land bill before the expiry of the relevant ordinance on April 5 has increased. Hence, until more clarity comes from the ongoing budget session, the market will continue its consolidation,” Nair added.

Shrikant Chouhan, head, technical research, Kotak Securities said the bank sector did extremely well and closed at the day’s highest level, while pharmaceutical stocks have outperformed in the recent correction.

“We are expecting global cues to remain neutral to positive as ahead of the US Fed meet the data is suggesting at delay in rate hike, which is positive for emerging markets,” Chouhan said.

The US Fed is holding the FOMC on March 17 and 18. This meeting will provide the trajectory of the US economy, which will also reveal as to when the rate hike might take place.

With higher interest rates, the foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) are expected to be led away from the emerging markets such as India.

For the past two sessions, apart from anxiety over FOMC meet, there were also concerns regarding the marginal increase in the retail inflation for February which belied expectations of a rate cut next month.

The Reserve Bank of India is scheduled to announce its first bi-monthly policy review for 2015 on April 7.

The markets closed 66 points or 0.23 percent down Monday. On March 13, the 30-scrip BSE Sensex closed 427 points or 1.48 percent down.

On Tuesday, healthy buying was observed in healthcare, capital goods, bank, automobile, consumer durables, oil and gas, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and metal sectors.

However, information technology (IT) and technology, entertainment and media (TECK)came under heavy selling pressure.

The S&P BSE healthcare index gained by 306.70 points, capital goods index moved up by 292.87, bank index increased by 243.57 points, automobile index went up by 236.18 points and consumer durables index augmented by 152.59 points.

Other sectors like oil and gas index gained 134.59 points, followed by FMCG index which was higher by 120.84 points and metal index up 112.26 points.

However, IT index lost 37.10 points and TECK index was down 10.18 points.

The major Sensex gainers on Monday were: Hindalco, up 5.75 percent at Rs.134.20; Sesa Sterlite, up 4.02 percent at Rs.192.95; DrReddy’s Lab, up 3.66 percent at Rs.3,435.30; HDFC, up 2.62 percent at Rs.1,339.95; and Tata Motors, up 2.47 percent at Rs.571.55.

The losers were: Infosys down 1.10 percent at Rs.2,241.95; Coal India, down 0.78 percent at Rs.361.65; Tata Power, down 0.62 percent at Rs.80.45; Wipro, down 0.60 percent at Rs.642.50; and Bharti Airtel, down 0.60 percent at Rs.386.80.

Among the Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei went up by 0.99 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed lower by 0.20 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite Index, gained by 1.58 percent.

In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was marginally up by 0.03 percent, while Germany’s DAX Index was lower by 1.33 percent and France’s CAC 40 was down 0.63 percent at the closing in the Indian markets.

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