Sensex gains 371 points, oil and gas stocks rally

Mumbai, Dec 20: A benchmark index of Indian equities markets ended Friday’s trade 371.10 points, or 1.79 percent up.

The bullish sentiment in the market was seen a day after the government allowed Reliance Industries to charge higher prices for gas from April.

The gains came a day after the benchmark index lost 151 points after the US Federal Reserve announced a $10 billion tapering of its bond buying programme.

The 30-scrip S&P Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 20,792.37 points, closed at 21,079.72 points — up 371.10 points or 1.79 percent from its previous day’s close at 20,708.62 points.

The benchmark touched a high of 21,117.99 intra-day and a low of 20,745.94 points.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed Friday’s trade 197.60 points or 1.74 percent up at 6,274.25 points.

“Benchmarks ended the week about 1.25 percent higher, buoyed by the RBI decision to hold rates and despite the higher-than-expected amount of taper announced by the US Fed, positive foreign flows after the taper announcement also supported sentiments,” Dipen Shah, head, private client group research, Kotak Securities, said.

“With the two major decisions by central banks out of the way, markets will now be guided by further announcements of the taper and implementation of the same, political expectations and corporate performance.”

In Friday’s trade healthy buying was observed in oil and gas, automobile, bank, information technology (IT) and technology, entertainment and media (TECk) sectors. However, consumer durables stocks plummeted.

The S&P BSE oil and gas index was up 323.66 points followed by automobile index which gained 244.87 points, bank index was 229.31 points higher, IT index was up 147.38 points and TECk index was 73.97 points up.

The S&P BSE consumer durables index was down 83.78 points.

Major Sensex gainers were: Reliance Industries (RIL), up 4.58 percent at Rs.893.65; ONGC, up 3.93 percent at Rs.284.35; Wipro, 3.60 percent at Rs.548.95; Mahindra and Mahindra, up 3.35 percent at Rs.969.25 and HDFC, up 3.05 percent at Rs.800.10.

The main losers were: Sesa Sterlite, down 1.05 percent at Rs.202.80; Sun Pharma, down 0.69 percent at Rs.578.80 and Jindal Steel, down 0.50 percent at Rs.250.55.

Among the Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei closed 1.74 percent up and China’s Shanghai Composite Index was lower by 0.95 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 1.10 percent.

In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was trading 0.99 percent up, Germany’s DAX Index was higher by 1.36 percent and the French CAC 40 Index gained by 1.17 percent.

IANS