Sensex closes 119 points higher on short covering

Mumbai : A benchmark index for Indian equities markets Tuesday snapped out of its eight-day losing streak and closed 119 points higher as traders covered short positions ahead of the monthly derivatives contract expiry.

The monthly derivatives contract will expire Thursday.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened lower at 15,995.69 points, closed at 16,065.42 points, up 119.32 points or 0.75 percent from its previous close at 15,946.1 points.

The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also ended in the positive, 34 points or 0.71 percent higher at 4,812.35 points.

The gains came even as the value of the Indian rupee fell to a new record low of 52.73 to a dollar Tuesday morning as demand for the greenback by oil companies and investors rose sharply.

Broader markets also ended higher with the BSE midcap index closing 0.55 percent up. IT, metals and auto stocks were among the major gainers, while consumer durables and FMCG scrips saw selling.

The market breadth at the BSE was negative with 1,350 stocks advancing and 1,406 scrips declining. Another 133 remained unchanged.

Among gainers on the 30-scrip Sensex were: Tata Motors, up 6.91 percent at Rs.172.60; Tata Steel, up 2.77 percent at Rs.391.15; DLF, up 2.58 percent at Rs.200.75 and Infosys, up 2.33 percent at Rs.2,723.15.

Losers on the benchmark included: Bharti Airtel, down 2.48 percent at Rs.378.85; Tata Power, down 2.29 percent at Rs.93.75; ITC, down 1.61 percent at Rs.196.10 and Bajaj Auto, down 1.42 percent at Rs.1,599.70.

Asian markets were subdued as the political leadership in Europe still could not come up with concrete steps that would reduce their huge debt.

Compounding the problem is the inability of the US’s “supercommittee” — a 12-member bipartisan panel which is supposed to suggest measures for cutting the country’s fiscal deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years.

The Japanese Nikkei closed in the red at 8,314.74 points, down 0.4 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed flat at 18,251.59 points.

The Chinese Shanghai composite index too ended lacklustre at 2,412.63 points.

European markets, however, rose Tuesday, as credit rating agencies said the US was not in danger of being downgraded even though the supercommittee failed to reach an agreement on spending cuts.

Britain’s FTSE was ruling 0.69 percent up at 5,258.41 points and the German DAX was trading 1 percent up at 5,662.31 points.

The French CAC 40 was ruling 0.9 percent up at 2,921.08 points.

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