Sensex gains 44 pts; all eyes FDI vote in Parliament

Sensex gains 44 pts; all eyes FDI vote in Parliament Mumbai: Rising for the second day, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Wednesday gained about 44 points to close at a new 19-month high on hopes government would get the Parliament approval to the decision allowing FDI in multi-brand retail.

Led by Reliance Industries, the Sensex settled the day at 19,391.86, higher by 43.74 points, or 0.23 percent -- the highest closing since 19,448.69 on April 27, 2011.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty regained the 5,900 level by rising 11,25 points, or 0.19 percent to 5,900.50.

"Expectations are building up that the way government has handled the FDI issue, it will be able to push through more Bills in the Parliament once it secures the vote on retail," said Rikesh Parikh, Vice-President-Equities, Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd.

Parliamentarians will vote later in the day on the government decision to allow FDI in the retail sector.

Heavyweights including ITC, HDFC Bank, RIL, SBI, Sterlite Ind, Tata Motors, Tata Steel and Hindalco attracted buying in Sensex.

However, Infosys, Tata Power, HDFC, Bajaj Auto and M&M closed with losses in the 30-share Sensex.

"A weaker dollar, strong FII investments and overall bullish sentiments are helping markets to inch up higher," said Milan Bavishi, Head Research, Inventure Growth & Securities.

Overall in the broader market, shares of realty and metal sectors firmed up while scrips from the IT sector suffered losses. Analysts said a softer dollar kept pressure on performance of IT stock prices.

Globally, Chinese stocks jumped to lead gains for Asian markets. European makets were trading higher in their afternoon trade.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite ended 2.87 percent higher. Key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan finished higher between 0.39 percent and 2.16 percent.

European markets were trading higher in their afternoon trade as investors picked up banks and resource shares. Key benchmark indices in UK, Germany and France moved between 0.49 percent and 0.58 percent.

Back home, 15 out of 30 Sensex-based counters closed with gains while others finished with losses. Sterlite was the top gainer with a rise of 5.37 percent, followed by Hindalco (3.38 percent), Tata Steel (2.13 percent), SBI (1.38 percent), Tata Motors (1.33 percent), HDFC Bank (1.12 percent), ITC (1.03 percent), Hero MotoCorp (0.87 percent), RIL (0.87 percent) and ONGC (0.81 percent).

However, Tata Power dipped by 3.67 percent, Infosys by 1.93 percent, Wipro by 1.83 percent, Bajaj Auto by 1.51 percent and M&M by 0.94 percent.

Among the sectoral indices, the BSE-Realty firmed up by 2.81 percent, BSE-Metal by 1.61 percent and BSE-Oil&Gas by 0.74 percent, while BSE-IT dropped by 1.22 percent and BSE-Teck by 0.93 percent.

Total market breadth remained positive as 1,695 stocks closed up while 1,232 stocks settled down. The total turnover was relatively low at Rs 2,885.77 crore from Rs 2,940.27 crore on Tuesday.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) continued to pump funds by investing Rs 539.95 crore on Tuesday as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.

PTI