Sensex closes 80 points higher; but below 20,000 mark

Mumbai, Jan 15 (IANS) A benchmark index for Indian equities markets closed Tuesday's trade up 80 points, but below the 20,000 mark.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) crossed the 20,000 points mark for the first time since January 2011 in early morning trade, a day after the government deferred implementation of the new tax avoidance law announced in the budget of 2012-13 till 2016 and the general inflation in December moderated to a three-year low, raising hopes of a possible rate cut by the central bank.

Major indices like automobile, bank and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) made considerable gains while profit booking took place in metal, oil and gas and public sector undertaking (PSU) stocks.

The BSE Sensex, which opened at 19,999.82 points, closed at 19,986.82 points -- up 80.41 points or 0.40 percent from its previous close at 19,906.41 points.

The Sensex touched an intra-day high of 20,036.82 points and a low of 19,881.78 points.

The midcap index was up 19.38 points, while the smallcap index was down by 4.82 points.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed more than half a percent, up 0.54 percent or 32.55 points at 6,056.60 points.

In the Sensex sectoral indices, bank index was up 105.60 points, followed by oil and gas index, up 38.78 points, consumer durables index, up 34.54 points, automobile index, up 34.20 points, and FMCG index, up 34.08 points.

The metal index was down by 33.63 points, while the information technology (IT) index lost 14.89 points.

The major Sensex gainers were Bharti Airtel, up 4.81 percent at Rs.345.25; ITC, up 1.98 percent at Rs.283.40; ICICI Bank, up 1.53 percent at Rs.1,202.85, Tata Power, up 1.51 percent at Rs.107.80 and Bajaj Auto, up 1.07 percent at Rs.2,115.25.

Only 13 of the 30 scrips in the Sensex closed in red.

The main losers were Coal India, down 1.54 percent at Rs.354.09; Sterlite Inds, down 1.31 percent at Rs.116.55; Jindal Steel, down 0.74 percent at Rs.443.25; Sun Pharma, down 0.66 percent at Rs.729.75 and Infosys, down 0.62 percent at Rs.2,789.95.

Among other Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei index was up 0.72 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended 0.14 percent lower. The Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.60 percent.

In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.06 percent and the German DAX was trading 0.39 percent lower. The French CAC 40 was also down 0.28 percent.

Matches