Sensex recovers from 2-year low, up 158 pts

Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex recovered from 2-year low Thursday by gaining over 158 points at 15,858.49 amid easing food inflation, strengthening Indian rupee and firm European markets as investors squared positions during the settlement of this month`s derivative contracts. The market remained in the negative terrain till late afternoon trade as most of the Asian markets were subdued.

However, strong openings in the European markets on signs that euro-zone debt crisis may ease lifted investor sentiment. Domestically, food inflation fell to nearly four-month low of 9.01 per cent for the week ended November 12, prompting Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to express the hope that the overall price situation will improve in the coming weeks.

Besides, the recovery was aided by sustained buying by financial institutions. They have picked up shares worth Rs 1,775.46 crore in last six days since November 16, including provisional data of Wednesday. Meanwhile, the rupee, which had fallen to historic low against the US dollar recovered some ground. Overall, 12 of the 13 sectoral indices closed in the green with auto, capital goods, tech and pharma in the lead, and 25 out of 30 Sensex scrips made gains.

The BSE barometer fell back to a low of 15,479.97 before rebounding to settle at 15,858.49, up 158.52 points or 1.01 per cent. Wednesday, it had tumbled by 365.45 points or 2.27 per cent to over two-year low of 15,699.97. The 50-issue Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also recovered by 50 points or 1.06 per cent to 4,756.45. It touched fresh 2-year low of 4,639.10 before recovery. Buying in L&T, Bharti Airtel, TCS, ONGC, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, M&M, Infosys Tech, HDFC Bank, Maruti Suzuki and BHEL supported the market. .

"Market had cautious start on muted overseas cues. Sentiments turned a bit positive on report that weekly food inflation has slipped below double digits at 9.01 per cent. The rally was also supported by the short coverings as November derivative series came to an end today," said Shanu Goel, Senior Research Analyst at Bonanza Portfolio. Despite the gains, nearly one-fourth shares from "A" group registered 52-week lows, including Sensex stocks like Tata Steel, Tata Power, SBI, L&T, Hindalco and BHEL.

In Asia, key indices in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan closed with gains, while from China and Japan finished with losses. European stocks, however, showed firm trend in the afternoon trade. The CAC, the DAX and the FTSE were up between 0.6 per cent and 1.7 per cent.

Back home, from the Sensex pack, Maruti Suzuki was the top gainer with a rise of 4.02 per cent, followed by Bajaj Auto (3.71 pc), Bharti Airtel (3.65 pc), ONGC (2.90 pc), L&T (2.76 pc), Tata Motors (2.76 pc), M&M (2.57 pc), TCS (2.53 pc), Jaiprakash (2.33 pc), BHEL (2.01 pc), Wipro (1.48 pc), NTPC (1.28 pc), Coal India (1.10 pc), HDFC Bank (0.76 pc) and Infosys (0.61 pc).

Among the sectoral indices, BSE-Auto spurted 2.45 per cent, Capital Goods (2.31 pc), Teck (1.74 pc), Healthcare (1.68 pc), Realty (1.34 pc) and IT (1.29 pc). The total market breadth on the BSE turned positive as 1,460 stocks closed in the green, while 1,313 ended in the red. The total turnover was Rs 2,012.91 crore from Rs 2,011.32 crore Wednesday.