Sensex up 115 pts despite weak GDP numbers

Mumbai: The BSE Sensex gained 115 points today in volatile trade to close at 16,123.46, as investors shrugged off low GDP growth numbers for the second quarter and bought recently battered stocks despite weak global cues. Refinery, FMCG and technology stocks were in demand, while consumer durables, realty, auto and banking attracted profit-booking.

Top Sensex heavyweight RIL gained 1.80 per cent, adding more than 31 points to the gains. Other blue-chips — Bharti Airtel, ITC, ONGC, HDFC Bank, TCS, HUL and HDFC were also in demand and aided the uptrend. However, selling in ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, Hero MoroCorp and Sterlite restricted the gains.

Meanwhile, confirming economic slowdown, GDP expanded just 6.9 per cent in second quarter of 2011-12, as against 8.4 per cent in the same period last fiscal. The government has lowered its full-year growth projection to 7.3 per cent.

Senior Research Analyst at Bonanza Portfolio Shanu Goel said, however, "To the relief of the bulls the growth figures came at 6.9 per cent, as per the market expectation. Though growth has slowed down across sectors, the market accepted the fact amid global turmoil and uncertainties." The BSE 30-share Sensex opened lower on weak Asian cues. Later, it moved erratically before ending at 16,123.46, up 115.12 points or 0.72 per cent. Yesterday, it had fallen 158.79 points or 0.98 per cent.

The 50-issue Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also rebounded by 26.95 points or 0.56 per cent

to 4,832.05. FIIs, however, continued selling Indian equities. They sold shares worth Rs 320.87 crore yesterday as per provisions data. Foreign funds have pulled out around Rs 6,500 crore (about USD 1.2 billion) over the past fortnight.

Major Asian markets, barring Singapore, fell by up to 3.27 per cent. European markets were also weak in the afternoon trade, with the CAC, the DAX and the FTSE down between 0.3 and 1.0 per cent. In all, 20 of the 30 Sensex scrips made gains. Bharti Airtel rose 3.17 per cent, followed by ONGC (3.06 pc), Sun Pharma (2.84 pc), NTPC (2.40 pc), HUL (2.26 pc), Jindal Steel (2.26 pc), DLF (2.15 pc), TCS (2.05 pc), HDFC Bank (1.62 pc), ITC (1.44 pc), Bajaj Auto (1.42 pc), Coal India (1.33 pc), Maruti Suzuki (1.15 pc), Wipro (1.15 pc) and HDFC (0.84 pc).

However, ICICI Bank dropped by 3.01 pc, Sterlite Ind by 2.98 pc, Hero MotoCorp by 2.76 pc, Tata Motors by 2.86 pc and Jaiprakash by 1.66 pc. Despite the Sensex rise, the total market breadth on the BSE remained negative as second-line counters underperformed. A total of 1,515 counters closed in the red, while 1,206 ended in the green. Total turnover was slightly up at Rs 1,942.16 crore, from Rs 1,895.70 crore yesterday.