Mumbai: Heavy buying in banking shares on lower-than-expected wholesale inflation and a spike in oil and gas stocks on falling global crude prices helped BSE benchmark Sensex on Monday recover by over 115 points to end at 18,357.80.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer initially touched a low of 18,144.22 on weaker Chinese data, but later bounced back on a fall in WPI inflation to 5.96 percent to close up by 115.24 points or 0.63 percent at 18,357.80.
Last Friday, the index had fallen by almost 300 points after dismal Q4 performance and FY14 guidance by Infosys.
The 50-issue CNX Nifty of the NSE also firmed up by 39.85 points or 0.72 percent to end at 5,568.40 today.
Inflation based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) dipped to over three-year low of 5.96 percent in March from 6.84 percent in February, reinforcing rate cut hopes by RBI after retail inflation also showed declining trend last week.
RBI will announce its annual monetary policy on May 3.
SBI and HDFC led financial stocks in 30-share Sensex.
"The WPI inflation dipped to 40-month low. This has increased the expectation of the some monetary easing from the RBI in its coming policy...Crude oil prices saw a sharp fall and consequently the oil and gas pack showed buying interest," Nagji K Rita, CMD, Inventure Growth and Securities.
Refinery-related stocks such ONGC and IOC were at the forefront on buying after US crude oil futures dropped below USD 90 a barrel. As a result, the BSE-Oil&Gas was the top gainer from sectoral indices with a rise of 2.37 percent.
RIL gained over 2 percent ahead of Q4 earnings.
However, metal counters like Sterlite and Tata Steel saw profit-booking on sluggish economic indicators from China, a major importer of copper and other metals.
Outside of major indices, gold-related stocks including Muthoot Finance and Manappuram Finance over 10 percent each on the precious metal falling to 15-month low today.
On the global front, Asian stocks closed lower between 0.20-1.55 percent. European markets too were quoting down in their early trade.
In Europe, France's CAC was down by 0.76 percent, the DAX by 0.64 percent and the FTSE by 0.89 percent.
Turning to the domestic market 16 scrips out of the 30- share Sensex pack ended lower while 14 others finished higher.
Major gainers from the Sensex were ONGC (3.45 percent), SBI (3.01 percent), Bharti Airtel (2.38 percent), ITC (2.34 percent), Infosys (1.68 percent), L&T (1.57 percent), HDFC (1.02 percent) and Maruti Suzuki (0.97 percent).
However, Sterlite Industries dropped by 2.60 percent, followed by Dr Reddy's Lab (2.52 percent), TCS (2.38 percent), Tata Motors (2.25 percent), Coal India (1.83 percent), Cipla (1.73 percent), Tata Steel (1.60 percent), M&M (1.26 percent), Tata Power (1.05 percent) and Hero MotoCorp (0.92 percent).
"Reliance Industries will announce March quarter results tomorrow. The daily chart of Nifty indicates that a range bound activity between 5,450-5,650 is likely to prevail in the coming weeks," said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.
Among the sectoral indices, S&P BSE-FMCG (1.45 percent), followed by S&P BSE-PSU (1.38 percent), S&P BSE-Bankex (0.96 percent) and S&P BSE-Capital Goods (0.57 percent) while S&P BSE-Consumer Durables dropped by 2.06 percent and S&P BSE-Metal fell by 1.21 percent.
Total market breadth turned positive as 1,266 scrips finished higher while 1,042 counters closed down. 123 ruled steady. The total turnover declined slightly to Rs 1,931.84 crore from Rs 1,937.63 crore on last Friday.
Meanwhile, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 28.59 crore last Friday, as per provisional data with stock exchanges.
First Published: Monday, April 15, 2013, 17:52