Sensex closes fiscal year with 25-percent annual gain

Mumbai, March 31 (IANS) Despite the downward trend seen during the past 10 days, the sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) ended the 2014-15 fiscal with a gain of nearly 25 percent — thanks to the positive mood generated by the Narendra Modi government.

The Sensex closed on Tuesday at 27,957.49 points — as against the close at 22,386.27 points on March 31, 2014 — to register an overall gain of 24.88 percent during the 2014-15 financial year, during which the index also breached the psychologically-significant 30,000-mark.

This has been the best performance of the Sensex in five years.

But Tuesday was a mixed say at the bourses. After trading in the positive terrain for the bulk of the day, the key market index ended flat, with a marginal loss of 18.37 percent or 0.07 percent, according to data available with the exchange.

The Sensex opened above the 28,000-point mark at 28,069.85 points and inched up to the intra-day high of 28,180.64 points — a gain of over 200 points.

But the downturn started around an hour before the closing bell, when the index shed some 310 points from the peak level in a matter of minutes and was quoting lower than the previous day’s close at 27,975.86 points.

During this fall, attributed to profit-taking, the barometer index in a matter of a few minutes fell to a low of 27,868.21 points. At this point, the index was down 107 points. At close of trading, the index was at 27,957.49 points with a loss of 18.37 points or 0.07 percent.

Witnessing a similar trend, the broader 50-share CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 8,491 points, down 1.30 points or 0.02 percent, according to provisional data provided by the bourse.

“In the first half, we saw the benchmarks extending Monday’s rebound. But the sudden dip in the last hours eliminated all the intra-day gains. We expect the index to trade range-bound on Wednesday as well,” said Jayant Manglik, president for retail distribution with Religare Securities.

“Volatility would continue on the stock-specific front ahead of the long weekend.”

The stocks of oil and gas, healthcare and auto companies were collectively the top performers, while the indices of banking, capital goods, information technology, consumer durables and fast-moving consumer goods were the worst, with each of them in the negative territory.

On Monday, after eight consecutive sessions when the markets either ended flat or in the red, the 30-scrip Sensex had gained over 500 points, or nearly 2 percent, closing at 27,975.86 points, up 517.22 points or 1.88 percent from the previous day’s close at 27,458.64 points.

On Tuesday, among the top losers were Oil and Natural Gas Corp, down 2.81 percent at Rs.306.35; Punjab National Bank, down 2.79 percent at Rs.144.40; Ultra Tech Cement, down 2.25 percent at Rs.2,877.90; Tata Steel, down 1.75 percent at Rs.316.75; and Hindalco down 1.64 percent at Rs.129.

Among the gainers were Bharat Petroleum, up 5.39 percent at Rs.810.80; Tata Power, up 3.70 percent at Rs.77.10; GAIL (India), up 2.04 percent at Rs.387.80; Tata Motors, up 1.89 percent at Rs.550.20; and Reliance Industries, up 1.88 percent at Rs.826.

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