Sensex up 162 pts on reform, FII boost

Dec 27 2012, 01:25 IST
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Summary* Index posts biggest single-day gain so far

Indian equities gained nearly 1 per cent on Wednesday led by sizeable gains in cyclical and high-volatility stocks such as capital goods, realty and banks, and strong buying by overseas institutional investors.

As per the stock exchange data, Sensex advanced 0.84 per cent or 162.37 points on Wednesday to close at 19,417.46. The 30-share Sensex posted its biggest single-day gain so far in December.

The 50-share Nifty, too, advanced 0.85 per cent or 49.85 points to settle at 5,905.60. However, broader markets trailed front line stocks. BSE Midcap and BSE Smallcap index gained 0.66 per cent and 0.36 per cent, respectively.

Among sectoral indices, BSE Capital Goods index was the biggest gainer, rising 1.68 per cent. BSE Realty index advanced 1.22 per cent, while CNX Nifty gained 1.31 per cent. BSE IT index was the sole loser on Wednesday, declining 0.17 per cent.

Experts attributed on Wednesdays gains to December derivatives (futures and options) expiry, which is due on Thursday and resilient buying of Indian equities by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) on hopes of continued reforms and increasing expectations of interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India.

Among its peers, all major Asian indices ended marginally in the green on Wednesday. Hang Seng was up 0.16 per cent, while Shanghai Composite rose 0.25 per cent. Nikkei 225 climbed the most at 1.49 per cent.

On Wednesday, the government approved 12 foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals, including that of Ratnakar Bank, totalling over Rs 802 crore. In addition, the proposal of Swedish furniture major IKEA has been recommended for consideration of cabinet committee on economic affairs.

According to a JP Morgan report on Asia Pacific asset allocation, the global investment bank major remains overweight on India, with focus on cyclical portfolio. More cyclical Indian portfolio is the investment theme driving the transactions, stated the JP Morgan report.

Among the front line stocks, Bharti Airtel, Larsen & Toubro, ICICI Bank, and JP Associates were among the top gainers each rising in the range of 2-3 per cent. Reliance Industries also advanced 1 per cent on hopes the government-appointed panel looking at oil and gas exploration contracts would recommend a pricing formula that could sharply raise the price of natural gas.

FIIs continued to remain net buyers in Indian equities, with year-to-date inflows crossing $24 billion. FE

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