Sensex closes half a percent up; oil and gas, automobile stocks rally

Mumbai, Feb 12 (IANS) A benchmark index for Indian equities market closed half a percent up Tuesday, as oil and gas, automobile and healthcare stocks rallied.

The upward movement came even as government data showed that the industrial output had contracted 0.6 percent in December 2012.

The 30-scrip Sensex, which opened at 19,489.87 points, closed at 19,561.04 points, up 100.47 points or 0.52 percent from its previous close at 19,460.57 points.

The Sensex touched an intra-day high of 19,583.53 points and a low of 19,438.53 points.

The midcap index was down 21.09 points, while the smallcap index was lower by 34.34 points.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed 24.65 points or 0.42 percent higher at 5,922.50 points.

There was good buying in oil and gas, automobile and healthcare scrips. Heavy selling pressure was seen in realty, information technology (IT) and metal stocks.

The oil and gas index was up 137.12 points, followed by the automobile index, up 102.20 points, and the healthcare index, up 94.42 points. Major indices like the realty index was down 86.06 points. And so were the IT index, down 40.41 points and metal index, down 35.44 points.

The major Sensex gainers were ONGC, up 3.81 percent at Rs.320.15; Sun Pharma, up 2.84 percent at Rs.770.10; Tata Motors, up 2.65 percent at Rs.298.30 Coal India, up 1.85 percent at Rs.345.00; and Bharti Airtel, up 1.79 percent at Rs.321.70.

Thirteen of the 30 Sensex scrips declined. These included Jindal Steel, down 3.35 percent at Rs.392.45; Sterlite Inds, down 1.31 percent at Rs.102.00; Infosys, down 1.29 percent at Rs.2,754.65, Tata Power, down 0.77 percent at Rs.96.85; and Cipla, down 0.48 percent at Rs.392.80.

Among other Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 1.94 percent higher, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended 0.16 percent up. China's Shanghai Composite Index closed up by 0.57 percent.

In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.46 percent, while the German DAX was trading 0.17 percent higher. The French CAC 40 was up 0.40 percent.

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