Sensex highest in 19 months; closes at 17,360.61 pts

Last Updated: Thursday, December 24, 2009 - 18:05

Mumbai: Extending the gains for the third
straight day, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex today
rallied 130 points to close at a 19-month high amid a string
of positive news and strong global cues.

Brokers said unexpected softening in food inflation to
18.65 per cent and a promising 5.3 per cent core sector growth
in Nov helped markets continue to spread Christmas jingles.

The 30-share index initially gyrated in a narrow range
but jumped in the last one hour to conclude the day gaining
129.50 or 0.75 per cent over its previous close at 17,360.61--
a level not seen since May 16, 2008. The Sensex has gained
over 740 points in three days of sustained buying by funds.

Similarly, the broader 50-share Nifty of the National
Stock Exchange touched a 19-month high today by gaining 33.80
points or 0.66 per cent to end the day at 5,178.40-- a level
not seen since May 05, 2008-- from its last close.

Marketmen said investors in early trade were awaiting
clear triggers after yesterday`s massive rally. The sentiment
got a boost when news of core sector growth and lower food
inflation figures trickled in the afternoon. The late rally
was driven by funds getting onto a buying spree, they added.

Covering short positions ahead of the December expiry
and a long four-day weekend also helped push the Sensex up.

Food inflation unexpectedly softened to 18.65 per cent
for the week ended December 12 from 19.95 per cent in last
week. Infrastructure industries grew by a healthy 5.3 per cent
in Nov against meager a 0.8 per cent a year ago, in line with
the recovery in industrial growth.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 24, 2009 - 18:05
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