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Sensex gains 154 pts; metals auto lead, banks lose ground

16:26

The News International Team

After a consolidation last week, equity benchmarks gained strength on Monday supported by metals and autos stocks. The broader markets participated too in an uptrend; though buying at institutional desk remained low due to holidays for Christmas.

The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 153.95 points to close at 27395.73 while the 50-share NSE Nifty could not hold 8250 level, up 45.60 points at 8246.30. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 0.9 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

Nitin Jain of Kotak UK says the brokerage has been putting money to work in the Indian markets now. “We are buying select bank stocks in anticipation of a rate cut soon,” he adds.

The rupee declined 13 paise to 63.69 a dollar due to persistent month end dollar demand.

Globally, it was a mixed day amid low volume. Hang Seng ended 424 points higher whereas Nikkei erased gains, falling 0.5 percent on suspected Ebola case. European markets -France’s CAC and Germany’s DAX fell 0.2-0.8 percent while Britain’s FTSE gained 0.2 percent (at 16 hours IST).

Back home, metals stocks were shining as the BSE Metal Index gained 2 percent ahead of ordinance on land and mining. CNBC-TV18 learnt that the cabinet is likely to take up land and mining ordinances this week which may give centre few discretionary powers over states. Hindalco Industries rallied 3 percent. Coal India jumped over 2 percent.

Sesa Sterlite topped the buying list on Sensex, up 3.8 percent after Kotak upgraded stock to buy from reduce with a target price of Rs 250 as the brokerage believes the company will gain from coal mine auctions. Tata Steel climbed 1.5 percent after it started mining operations in 4 Odisha mines on December 15.

Auto stocks saw buying interest ahead of December sales data. The BSE Auto Index was up 1.5 percent as Tata Motors climbed 2 percent. Hero Motocorp gained 1.9 percent and Maruti was up 0.5 percent.

Asian Paints shot up 4 percent. Shares of Reliance Industries, HDFC, ITC, TCS, Infosys and HDFC Bank were up 0.5-0.9 percent. However, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and Mahindra & Mahindra were marginally down.

India’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel was in focus today after the company decided not to implement the proposed launch of VoIP packs. The stock declined 0.8 percent.

In the broader space, Aban Offshore was one of the top gainers in the midcaps, up 17.4 percent. CARE Ratings upgrading the credit rating of the company by notches to BB- from D. Interest costs are expected to reduce by Rs 200 crore annually.

UB Holdings shot up 11 percent as the company sees interim relief as the Calcutta High Court dismissed United Bank’s decision to declare Kingfisher as a willful defaulter. However, the dismissal was on technical grounds and expectations are that this decision can be appealed.

Assam Company was locked at 20 percent upper circuit as the company entered into an agreement with ONGC for their investment in Amguri field. Spice Mobility rallied 20 percent as the board members will meet on January 2 (2015) to consider the delisting proposal received from Smart Ventures, the promoter.

IL&FS Transportations climbed 7 percent as company started commercial operations for 4-laning of Warora-Bamni project while Career Point surged 9 percent on signing MoU with Rajasthan government for skill development courses.

Advancing shares outnumbered declining ones by a ratio of 1618 to 1312 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

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