Sensex rises 117 points; FMCG stocks rally

Mumbai, April 30 (IANS) A benchmark index of the Indian equities markets rose 117 points Tuesday, led by a strong rally in FMCG stocks after Hindustan Unilever announced better than expected earnings and its parent firm Unilever said it will raise stake in the company through an open offer.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened in the positive at 19,492.83 points, closed at 19,504.18 points, up 0.60 percent or 116.68 points from its previous day close at 19,387.50 points.

The benchmark index has gained 3.5 percent in April. This is the first monthly gain since January and the biggest rally since November last year.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) advanced 0.44 percent or 26.10 points at 5,930.20 points.

Hindustan Unilever, the country’s largest manufacturer of consumer goods and household products, surged almost 20 percent after parent firm Unilever said it will invest Rs.29,220 crore ($5.4 billion) to boost its stake in the Indian unit to 75 percent.

Unilever announced its plan to raise its stake in the Indian unit through an open offer at Rs.600 per share.

Hindustan Unilever closed 17.28 percent higher at Rs.583.60.

There was a strong buying support in other FMCG stocks also.

The BSE FMCG index surged 4.65 percent. Metal index rose by 0.96 percent and healthcare index advanced 0.85 percent.

However, there was selling pressure in realty, capital goods, consumer durables, banking and oil and gas stocks.

Prominent Sensex gainers were: Sterlite Inds, up 4.03 percent at Rs.95.45; Mahindra & Mahindra, up 2.24 percent at Rs.923; Wipro, up 1.75 percent at Rs.347.90; and Coal India, up 1.64 percent at Rs.318.70.

The main losers were: HDFC, down 1.94 percent at Rs.847.20; HDFC Bank, down 1.71 percent at Rs.682.15; Hindalco Inds, down 1.57 percent at Rs.97.25; L&T, down 1.10 percent at Rs.1512.60; and Bajaj Auto, down 0.80 percent at Rs.1881.80.

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