The News International Team
Indian shares gave up afternoon gains to close about flat, even as property shares zoomed on a Delhi government decision to increase the city’s floor area ratio.
At close, the Sensex was up 48 points, or 0.17 percent, to 28,386 while the Nifty gained 13 points, or 0.15 percent, to 8,475.
The market’s afternoon gains were powered by buying in power and gas stocks after a CNBC-TV18 report said government ministers would meet today to finalize gas pooling plans.
Gas pooling would enable power plants — which draw fuel from producers based away — to enter into swap arrangements with nearby producers.
Gujarat Gas Company ended 17 percent higher while other gas and power companies such as IGL and Torrent Power rose 3.9 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.
Besides power and gas, metals (led by Hindalco and Sesa Sterlite, which were up over 2 percent) and chemicals (led by Asian Paints and Castrol, both up over 1 percent) also witnessed buying.
The biggest gainer in the BSE 100, however, was DLF, which surged 7.2 percent on the news of the FAR increase. The BSE Realty index closed 4 percent higher.
Among losers, Zee Entertainment lost 4 percent, Godrej Consumer Products was off 2.6 percent while Bharti Airtel was down 2.4 percent.
Financial Technologies surged 4.7 percent after it said it had decided to sell stake in MCX-SX to a number of investors, including Big Bull Rakesh Jhunjhunwala.
Reliance Capital was up 4.4 percent after it said Japan’s Nippon was increasing stake in the firm from 26 percent to 35 percent, and would look to further increase it to 49 percent over the next two-three years.
While Jet Airways rose 4.7 percent after industry officials met the civil aviation minister yesterday to discuss key issues related to the sector such as the 5/20 rule, providing for infrastructure status to the airline industry as well as reducing high airport charges.
MRF gained 4 percent after declaring quarterly earnings that came in ahead of analyst estimates.
ITC was up 2.3 percent, making up for some of yesterday’s 5 percent loss, after brokerages reacting to yesterday’s news – that the government was mulling banning sale of loose cigarettes — said such a move would be difficult to implement and may not come through.
“If the government is able to push through a lot more reforms in the winter session of parliament which has started a couple of days back then you could still see some momentum in the market,” Sanjeev Prasad of Kotak Institutional Equities told CNBC-TV18 in an interview today.
“If the government is not able to implement some of the reforms over the next few months people then start questioning the medium-term assumptions which people have built in terms of strong economic recovery,” he added.
The Indian market is trading at about 19 times forward earnings, higher than the 15-16 times historical average.
Other markets/asset classes
Asian markets closed broadly higher while European stocks too opened in the green, amid hopes ultraloose monetary policy by central banks around the world would continue to benefit risk assets.
Gold was trading practically flat in Mumbai trading (at Rs 26,325), crude oil (Indian basket) inched lower by 0.5 percent while the 10-year government bond fell somewhat after a Reuters report said finance ministry officials would urge the Reserve Bank of India to cut benchmark lending rates at its next monetary policy meeting.