Sensex at 11-week high, up 157 pts

Mumbai: India`s Bombay Stock Exchange Sensex on Friday reached a 11-week high of 17,234, up 157 points, as it made gains for the sixth session in a row on aggressive foreign institutional investors buying on a string of positives, including food inflation staying in the negative terrain and firm Asian markets.

Investor mood has been on the upswing of late, especially after India`s central banking system, the Reserve Bank, decided this week to cut cash reserve ratio (CRR) to infuse liquidity into the financial system — around Rs 32,000 crore.

Refinery, consumer durables, teck, metals, capital goods, IT and auto stocks attracted good buying, although realty, FMCG and banking lost ground.

Top heavyweights – Reliance Industries Limited and Infosys with 20 per cent weight in the Sensex – made strong gains. Besides, L&T, Tata Motors, Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank, ONGC, Sterlite, Tata Steel and TCS propped the key index.

However, ITC, HDFC Bank, HDFC, Bajaj Auto, BHEL, Jindal Steel, Hero MotoCo, DLF and SBI lost ground and restricted the gain.

Besides, food inflation remained in the negative zone at (-)1.03 per cent for the week ended January 14, from (-)0.42 per cent in the preceding week, adding to investor confidence.

Market experts said the decline will help rein in the overall inflation and help the apex bank cut key lending rates in March.

The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer opened in the green and remained positive throughout the day to settle at 17,233.98, up 156.80 points or 0.92 per cent. Previously, it had ended at 17,362.10 on November 9.

The 50-issue index the National Stock Exchange, Nifty, also spurted by 46.40 points or 0.90 per cent to cross 5,200-mark after 11-week to finish at 5,204.70. .