Sensex spurts 308 points amid easing oil prices

Mumbai: Snapping its longest 9-day declining spell in a decade, the BSE Sensex gained 308 points on Friday to close at 18,518 on all-round buying at lower prices amid sharp fall in global crude oil prices.

All sectoral indices finished with gains, surging between 0.33 per cent and 3.71 per cent. The most battered stocks recently — banking, auto, IT, realty and capital goods were the major gainers.

Oil marketing PSUs gained as crude prices slumped below USD 100 a barrel in the US market. Brent crude, although still above USD 100 a barrel, also fell sharply. BPCL rose by 3.62 per cent, HPCL 2.83 per cent, IOC by 2.63 per cent and Oil India by 1.62 per cent.

India imports about 75 per cent of crude oil requirements and marketmen said that the government might hold it plans of raising prices of some subsidied petroleum products if the decline continues.

After having lost about 1,392 points or over 7.10 per cent in the last nine sessions — longest losing spell since September 2001 — the 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange index, Sensex, opened higher at 18,289.78 and shot up further to 18,568.48.

However, it closed the day 18,518.81, gaining 308.23 points or 1.69 per cent from its last close.

The NSE 50-share Nifty also ended higher by 91.60 points or 1.68 per cent to 5,551.45 from its last close.

"A steep drop in crude oil and other industrial commodities encouraged investors. Also, the main indices had fallen for nine straight days. So some sort of a recovery was always on the cards after such a big sell off," said Amar Ambani, Head of Research (India Private Clients) – IIFL.

He, however cautioned investors against getting "carried away by any short-term spike", saying that volatility is likely to stay for a while.

"The good news for India is that crude oil has come off sharply. One has to see whether the Government will go ahead and hike fuel prices next week," Ambani added.