Sensex closes 206 points up; rupee recovers

Mumbai, Aug 23 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets closed in green Friday, gaining over 206 points or more than one percent as the rupee recovered and overseas markets gained.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 18,386.53 points, ended the day's trade at 18,519.44 points, up 206.50 points or 1.13 percent from the previous day's close at 18,312.94 points.

"Markets have pulled back on increasing optimism that, the rupee has reached the bottom and may not fall from these levels," said Dipen Shah, head-private client group research, Kotak Securities.

In Friday's trade, the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed 63.30 points or 1.17 percent up at 5,471.75 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 18,546.60 points and a low of 18,210.75 during the day.

This was the second consecutive gain that the market made in the previous six trading sessions.

The markets had slumped below the 18,000-mark at 17,905.91 points in Wednesday's trade -- the lowest in 11 months.

Even the volatility seen in the rupee value against the dollar eased a day after Finance Minister P. Chidambaram called for calm in the currency markets saying the government was taking measures to improve the situation.

The partially-convertible rupee had slumped to a new record low of 65.56 against a dollar Thursday surpassing its previous record low of 64.54 touched Wednesday.

The currency closed at Rs.63.20 against a dollar from its previous close of 64.55 against a dollar on Thursday, appreciating by 2.09 percent.

Almost all the stocks, except realty sector, closed in green. Healthy buying was observed in bank, automobile, capital goods, oil and gas and IT.

The S&P BSE bank index gained by 202.51 points followed by automobile index which increased by 152.05 points, capital goods index rose by 144.98 points, oil and gas index gained by 128.24 points and IT index went up by 102.26 points.

However, BSE realty index was down 16.48 points.

The major Sensex gainers were: BHEL, up 8.10 percent at Rs.116.10; Tata Power, up 4.14 percent at Rs.78.05, Jindal Steel, up 3.89 percent at Rs.240.45, Tata Steel, up 3.27 percent at Rs.282.25 and Tata Motors, up 2.85 percent at Rs.300.90.

The main losers were: NTPC, down 1.60 percent at Rs.129, Bharti Airtel, down 1.55 percent at Rs.308.60, Cipla, down 1.43 percent at Rs.396, Infosys, down 0.82 percent at Rs.2,998.50, State Bank of India (SBI), down 0.74 percent at Rs.1,559.45; and Gail India, down 0.10 percent at Rs.304.75.

Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 2.21 percent up while China's Shanghai Composite Index was lower by 0.15 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.47 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was trading 0.51 percent up, while Germany's DAX Index was higher 0.17 percent. The French CAC 40 Index inched lower by 0.03 percent.


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