Sensex rises most in 4 mths, up 473 pts

Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex on Monday surged over 473 points to 18,202.20, biggest single day gain in nearly 4 rpt 4 months, as easing inflation and end of turmoil in Egypt encouraged investors to buy fundamentally sound stocks that were recently beaten down on poor sentiment.

The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index Sensex, which dipped to 7-month low in the previous few days, bounced back for the second session by surging 473.59 points to 18,202.20, after touching the day`s high of 18,227.62.

Sensex has lost 14 per cent from the record level on November 5, as high inflation and increasing central bank rates pushed up borrowing costs for industry as well as the consumer.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty zoomed up 146 points to 5,456 and touched intra-day high of 5,463.80.

The gauge recorded a biggest single session rise after May 10, as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned, easing concern about high oil prices that stoke overall inflation.

Meanwhile, inflation declined marginally to 8.23 per cent in January from 8.43 per cent in the previous month, as prices of certain commodities like wheat, pulses and sugar eased, although essential items like onion and other vegetables remained costly.

Brokers said the market was in the over-sold mode and the current rise forced speculators to square up their pending long positions. They said easing tension in the Middle-East also kept the global markets higher.

The Asian stocks advanced, rebounding from the biggest weekly decline since August, after Japan?s economy shrank less than estimated. European markets also opened higher.

The rally was supported by stocks of Tata Motors, Hero Honda, Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Auto, BHEL, Larsen and Toubro, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Tata Steel and Tata Power.

The capital goods, auto and metal sector stocks remained on the fore-front on expectations that easing inflation would bolster growth and raise demand for the infrastructure.

The most-heaviest on the Sensex, Reliance Industries rose Rs 4.60 to Rs 915.20 and second heaviest Infosys Technologies by Rs 63.95 to Rs 3,104.55. The two carry nearly 23 per cent weightage on the index.

As the buying activity spilled over a wide-front, smallcap sector index rose by 3.94 per cent to 8,116.62 and midcap index by 3.52 per cent to 6,703.82.