Sensex up 277 points

Mumbai: The BSE Sensex shot up to over 5-week high of 16,466.05 today, up 277 points on strong buying by foreign funds amid indications that the economy may grow faster in the coming months and firm markets overseas. Buying sentiment has been gradually improving on a string of positives such as a sharp dip in inflation, rising hopes of cut in interest rates and improvement in industrial growth.

Besides, marketmen said that comments of Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia in an interview that the Union Budget should aim at raising the GDP growth rate to 8 per cent in 2012-13, from the expected 7 per cent in the current fiscal, bolstered market mood. All the 13 sectoral indices closed with gains of up to 3.73 per cent. Capital goods, metals, realty and refinery stocks led the gains.

Besides, 24 of 30 Sensex scrips made gains with top heavyweights RIL and Infosys gaining 3.78 per cent and 0.99 per cent respectively. Maruti Suzuki, Hindalco, L&T, Tata Steel, NTPC and CIL were other major gainers. The 30-stock Sensex, which had gained 152 points in the last two sessions, moved up another 276.69 points, or 1.71 per cent to 16,466.05 — the level of December 8. The 50-scrip NSE index Nifty breached the 4,900 mark to close at 4,967.30 — up 93.40 points, or 1.92 per cent.

FIIs continued with the recent buying spree. They had pumped in Rs 357.68 crore yesterday as per provisional data. "US markets closed overnight, hence positive openings in Asian counterparts acted as a trigger for the market. Good results from the IT major- HCL Tech improved the sentiments today on the bourses," said Shanu Goel, Research Analyst at Bonanza Portfolio.

Analysts also said that the rupee`s rise against the US dollar to near 2-month intra-day high of 50.80 raised hopes that the strengthening local currency will reduce import costs for Indian companies and improve margins. Globally, markets in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan gained up to 4.18 per cent. In Europe, key indices — CAC (France), DAX (Germany) and FTSE (UK) — gained up to 1.8 per cent in the afternoon.

Major gainers from the Sensex pack were Maruti Suzuki (10.48 pc), Hindalco (6.04 pc), L&T (5.23 pc), Tata Steel (5 pc), NTPC (3.21 pc), Coal India (3.17 pc), Sterlite (3.06 pc), HUL (2.75 pc) , M&M (2.48 pc), DLF (2.32 pc), Jindal Steel (2.25 pc), ONGC (2.05 pc), Bajaj Auto (2.02 pc), Sun Pharma (1.92 pc), Tata Motors (1.83 pc), Wipro (1.82 pc), Hero MotoCo (1.78 pc) and Cipla (1.55 pc).

Among the sectoral indices, BSE-Capital Goods rose 3.73 per cent, followed Metals – 3.66 pc, Realty – 3.46 pc, Oil & Gas – 2.79 pc and Auto – 2.62 pc. The total market breadth was positive as 1,907 stocks finished with gains, while 975 registered losses. The total turnover shot up to Rs 2,684.37 crore from Rs 2,092.59 crore on Monday.