Sensex closes 158 points up; banks gain

Mumbai, Sep 18 : A benchmark index of Indian equities markets closed Wednesday's trade up nearly one percent or 158 points, on expectation of a moderate change in the US stimulus programme.

The US Federal Reserve's two-day meeting that ends later Wednesday is expected to result in a moderate reduction in the stimulus package, which it initiated as a result of global financial crisis triggered by the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers.

The day's volatile trade was also affected by the caution over high inflation levels that might have an adverse impact on the monetary policy review due Friday.

The Indian industry reeling under a liquidity crunch due to high interest rates is expecting a cut in key lending rates by the new Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan.

However, his ability to manoeuvre a cut in key lending rates might be limited due to the high inflation which accelerated to 6.1 percent in August as against 5.79 percent in July.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) was driven by more than 18 percent jump in food prices.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the S and P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 19,865.99 points, closed at 19,962.16 points, up 158.13 points or 0.80 percent from previous day's close at 19,804.03 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 20,013.33 points and a low of 19,775.29 during the day.

The wider 50-scrip S and P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) made gains, closing 49.25 points or 0.84 percent up at 5,899.45 points.

Healthy buying was observed in bank, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), oil and gas, healthcare and public sector undertakings (PSUs) stocks.

The S and P BSE bank index gained 182.65 points, FMCG index closed the day's trade up by 92.68 points, healthcare index was up 74.30 points, oil and gas index was up 74.14 points and PSU index was 43.12 points higher.

The bank index was 86.62 points lower, oil and gas index dropped by 50.54 points, capital goods index was down 41.99 points, healthcare index slipped 38.69 points and PSU index 37.76 points.

A majority of the 30 scrips on the sensitive index were gainers in the day's trade. These included NTPC, up 3.28 percent at Rs.145; Tata Power, up 3.11 percent at Rs.77.95; DrReddys Lab, up 2.64 percent at Rs.2,366; State Bank of India (SBI), up 2.38 percent at Rs.1,673.75; and Hindustan Unilever, up 2.21 percent at Rs.642.15.

The main losers were: BHEL, down 4.76 percent at Rs.130.05; Hero MotoCorp, down 2.84 percent at Rs.2,011.25; Sesa Goa, down 1.58 percent at Rs.177.70; HDFC, down 0.61 percent at Rs.799.45; and Mahindra and Mahindra (M and M), down 0.47 percent at Rs.841.

Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 1.35 percent up, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended the day's trade 0.27 percent lower. China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.29 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was trading 0.17 percent up, while Germany's DAX Index was higher by 0.43 percent. The French CAC 40 Index was 0.46 percent up.

--IANS (Posted on 18-09-2013)

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