Sensex closes 79 points up; IT stocks rise

Mumbai, Oct 14 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets Monday closed 79 points higher on the back of technology stocks even as data showed a seven-month high inflation for September.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 20,534.61 points, closed at 20,607.54 points, up 78.95 points or 0.38 percent from previous day's close at 20,528.59 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 20,645.94 points and a low of 20,497.88 during the day.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also made gains. It closed at 6,112.70 points, up 16.50 points or 0.27 percent.

The markets remained in positive territory even after latest inflation figures showed an increase of 6.46 percent in prices in September, the sharpest in seven months. The inflation was driven by high prices of onions and other food items.

The food inflation for the month under review rose to 18.40 percent from 8.06 percent in the corresponding month of the previous year.

Acceleration in inflation levels will make it difficult for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to cut rates.

The central bank might even go in for a rate hike to check increasing prices. The RBI is scheduled to meet and announce its monetary policy Oct 29.

However, analysts said that the markets position remained unchanged due to expectation of good earning results from blue-chip majors like Reliance Industries and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

"Markets are expecting good earning results from RIL and TCS and that is why they remained in positive territory," Shrikant Chouhan of Kotak Securities told IANS.

Sector-wise, IT, technology, entertainment and media (TECk), bank, automobile and oil and gas scrips gained.

However, metal, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), capital goods, healthcare and consumer durables stocks declined.

The S&P BSE IT index gained 197.69 points, TECk index was up 87.02 points, bank index increased by 66.82 points, automobile index was up 53.99 points and oil and gas index was up 29.53 points.

Heavy selling was observed in metal index which was down 55.58 points. The FMCG index was down 38.78 points, capital goods index was 35.72 points lower, while healthcare index plunged by 35.09 points and consumer durables index ended the day's trade down 11.41 points.

The majority of the 30 scrips on the sensitive index were gainers in the day's trade. These included Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), up 4.27 percent at Rs.2,214.65; Wipro, up 2.58 percent at Rs.500.90; Infosys, up 1.52 percent at Rs.3,323.50; Tata Motors, up 1.48 percent at Rs.390.85 and HDFC, up 1.08 percent at Rs.667.20.

The main losers were: Hindalco Inds, down 3.15 percent at Rs.110.60; Tata Steel, down 1.88 percent at Rs.301.95; Cipla, down 1.75 percent at Rs.421.85; Gail India, down 1.71 percent at Rs.330.30; and BHEL, down 1.56 percent at Rs.144.75.

Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 1.48 percent up, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended the day's trade 1.16 percent higher. China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.43 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was trading 0.12 percent up, while Germany's DAX Index was lower by 0.22 percent. The French CAC 40 Index was down 0.26 percent.

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