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BW Businessworld

Oil Stocks Lift Sensex By 121 Pts

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The BSE benchmark Sensex on 28 December ended 121 points higher at 19,444.84, its highest closing since December 20, led by buying in energy stocks, including RIL and ONGC, on hopes of a gradual hike in fuel prices.

Brokers said RIL, ONGC, IOC and BPCL attracted heavy buying following reports that the government might gradually increase the diesel price to cut subsidies.

IT stocks, including Infosys, TCS and Wipro, gained in 1.2-1.4 per cent range amid a firming global trend as reports said US lawmakers have arranged talks with political parties over the budget deficit issue before the deadline. A decision is key to avoid more than USD 600 billion in spending cuts and tax gains that will start in January.

"Investors eagerly await the outcome of fiscal cliff negotiations before spending cuts and tax raise get initiated on January 1," said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.

The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer resumed better and remained in positive terrain throughout the day before ending up by 121.04 points, or 0.63 per cent, at 19,444.84. On 27 December, it had dipped by 93.66 points.

Similarly, the 50-issue S&P CNX Nifty of the NSE also recovered by 38.25 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 5,908.35.

In all, 11 out of 13 sectoral indices closed with gains with Oil&Gas, IT, PSU and Teck taking the lead while Healthcare and Bankex indices closed with minor losses.

Meanwhile, Ratan Tata, an iconic corporate leader, retired as Chairman of Tata Group after a 50-year run today.

Chairman-designate Cyrus Mistry, who made a visit to Bombay House today, will tomorrow take charge of the new assignment, sources in Tata Sons said.

Asian stocks ended higher with Japanese shares poised for their biggest annual advance since 2005, after a report that the country's consumer prices fell fanned speculation that the central bank will respond to government calls for more asset purchases. Key benchmark indices in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Taiwan rose by 0.21 pct to 1.24 pct.

Market experts said the possibility of reforms, including diesel and kerosene price hike, rose after Finance Minister P Chidambaram yesterday stated some tough decisions taken by the government recently may have caused "immediate pain" but were necessary to bring down fiscal deficit.

Asian stocks ended higher with Japanese shares poised for their biggest annual gain since 2005, after a report fanned speculation that the country's central bank will respond to government calls for more asset purchases.

Key benchmark indices in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Taiwan rose by 0.21-1.24 per cent.

However, European stocks were trading lower in their afternoon deals as investors continued to eye 'fiscal-cliff' negotations in the US amid reports that lawmakers will meet on Sunday in a final attempt to seal a deal. Key indices in France, Germany and UK eased by 0.01-0.36 per cent.

Back home, 22 scrips out of the Sensex pack finished with gains while eight ended with losses.

Besides RIL that gained over 2.7 per cent, other gainers from Sensex were ONGC (2.49 pc), Sterlite Ind. (2.28 pc), Infosys (1.38 pc), Hero Motocorp (1.35 pc), Wipro (1.31 pc), Maruti Suzuki (1.23 pc), TCS (1.21 pc), Gail (1.06 pc) and Hindalco (0.98 pc).

However, Sun Pharma dropped by 1.05 per cent and M&M by 0.70 per cent.

Among sectoral indices, the BSE-Oil&Gas shot up by 2.38 per cent, followed by BSE-IT (1.21 per cent), BSE-PSU (0.89 per cent), BSE-Teck (0.87 per cent) and BSE-CD (0.75 per cent).

The market breadth turned higher as 1,514 stocks ended higher while 1,371 finished lower.

The total turnover dropped to Rs 2,203.79 crore from Rs 2,519.61 crore on 27 December.

Yesterday, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) for the first time in the current month sold shares worth Rs 132.68, as per provisional data with stock exchange.

(PTI)