Sensex bounces back, closes 154 pts higher

Mumbai: The BSE Sensex today rallied by 154 points after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured that his government is determined to take "tough" decisions to reverse the rising fiscal deficit, amid oil prices falling below the USD 83 mark. Helped by oil & gas, FMCG and banking stocks, the BSE benchmark index rebounded to close higher by 153.97 points or 0.92 per cent at 16,859.80. It had plunged 244 points yesterday as the RBI kept interest rates unchanged.

"Like other countries, we too allowed the fiscal deficit to expand after 2008 to impart a stimulus. We are now focussing on reversing the expansion. This will require tough decisions, including on controlling subsidies, which we are determined to take," Singh said while addressing leaders of the G-20 nations in Mexico.

Oil & gas counters, led by Reliance Industries, spurted as crude dropped below USD 83 a barrel in Asia. ITC rose to lead the rise in the FMCG sector, which is perceived as a defensive bet in a volatile market. Bank stocks like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and SBI also rose around 1 per cent each after taking a beating on Monday.

The 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty shot up by 39.60 points, or 0.78 per cent to 5,103.85 with stocks of refinery, FMCG and healthcare staging a smart recovery. The market mood was also supported as Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi said the government is taking steps to improve inflow of foreign investment. A firming trend in European stocks as Greece moved towards forming a new government and a Spanish debt sale meeting targets fuelled the domestic rally with 23 stocks out of the 30-share Sensex closing higher.

Dealers said investors ignored the rupee falling below the 56-mark yet again as global investors await signals in two-day US FOMC meeting, starting today, for a stimulus package. According to Kishor P Ostwal, CMD, CNI Research, the market recovered smartly even after Fitch downgrade. "It seems the FII are pouring money hence the bad news is getting factored. The renewed hopes are coming from the PM`s statement that sentiments need to be improved," he said.

Most Asian markets ended lower. Key indices in Japan, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong were down by 0.06 per cent to 0.75 per cent while Singapore Strait times inched up by 0.64 per cent and South Korea`s Kospi closed unchanged. However, European stocks were trading firm in their afternoon deals. The DAX was up by 0.52 per cent the CAC by 0.39 per cent and the FTSE by 0.92 per cent.

Major gainers in Sensex were Gail India (2.66 pc), RIL (2.58 pc), ITC (2.49 pc), Bharti Airtel (1.83 pc), ONGC (1.67 pc), Cipla (1.51 pc), Coal India (1.39 pc), TCS (1.32 pc), ICICI Bank (1.19 pc) and Sun Pharma (1.16 pc). However, Sterlite Industries fell by 1.62 per cent, followed by BHEL (1.33 pc), Infosys (1.29 pc) and Tata Power (1.14 pc). Among the sectoral indices, the BSE-Oil & Gas gained the most today as it rose 2.14 per cent, followed by the BSE-FMCG (1.58 pc) and the BSE-Healthcare (1.13 pc).

The market breadth turned positive as 1,350 stocks closed with gains while 1,321 ended with losses. The total turnover declined to Rs 1,865.85 crore from Rs 1,942.50 crore on Monday. FIIs, after injecting Rs 2,082.60 crore in straight eight trading days since June 6, turned net sellers and sold shares worth Rs 592.90 crore yesterday as per Sebi data.