Sensex up 130 points, closes at 17,361

Positive growth figures from the infrastructure sector boosted market sentiment

The Sensex was up 130 points from the previous day’s close, ending the day at 17,361, while the Nifty closed at 5,178, up 34 points.

Markets will remain closed for four days in a row from Friday (25 December 2009) to Monday (28 December 2009) on account of Christmas and Moharram.

India’s infrastructure sector grew an annual 5.3% in November 2009, said trade minister Anand Sharma. Infrastructure sector output grew 3.5% in October 2009 from a year earlier. The sector accounts for 26.7% of the country's industrial output.

Food price index rose 18.65% in the 12 months to 12 December 2009, data released by the government showed. The primary article index jumped 14.66% and the fuel price index rose 3.95%. The worst monsoon in nearly four decades and flooding in some parts of the country have pushed up food prices.

During the day, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved extending ITI’s 30% quota in BSNL & MTNL orders. The stock shot up 11% after the government said that the telecom department was preparing a revival package for ITI, and it would get 70% advance payment for BSNL & MTNL orders.

Hanung Toys & Textiles has signed an export order tie-up with a leading US buyer, for exporting home furnishing to the extent of $60 million. The stock shot up 5%.

Escorts zoomed 4% after the company said that one of its promoter group companies revoked a small portion of shares which it had pledged earlier.

Radico Khaitan jumped 4% on reports that a joint venture of the company with Diageo had received the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s nod for 100% foreign direct investment.

Jet Airways rose 2% on reports that the Cabinet panel had approved the airline’s plan for a $400-million QIP.

Rolta India remained flat after the company said that it had bought back foreign currency convertible bonds aggregating $15 million.

Bharti Airtel fell 2% after Citibank reportedly sold its stake in Bharti Infratel, the telecom tower arm of Bharti Airtel, to JP Morgan, exiting without any gain from the $50-million investment it made over two years ago.

Reliance Communications is reportedly seeking to bolster its wireless and enterprise business with an investment of more than Rs6,300 crore under a plan branded as ‘Edge 2010’. The stock remained flat.

During the day, Asia’s key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan were up between 0.79%-2.59%.

As per media reports, Bank of Japan (BoJ) governor Masaaki Shirakawa said that the central bank would act promptly and decisively if financial markets destabilise. He also repeated that weak final demand was the root cause of deflation, and that the BoJ would maintain its easy monetary policy to beat sustained price falls.

According to data released by the ministry of economic affairs (MOEA), Taiwan’s industrial production index for November rose 31.46% year-on-year, growing for the third consecutive month. The industrial production index stood at 108.78 in November, representing the highest year-on-year growth since August 1978, an increase that the MOEA attributed to the low base last year and the recovery of the global economy.

Meanwhile, a Chinese news agency quoted commerce minister Chen Deming as saying that China’s retail sales would grow more than 15% in 2009, the latest sign that the economy is on a brisk recovery path.

According to the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee’s 9 December-10 December 2009 meeting released on Wednesday, members of the Bank of England’s committee unanimously backed the decision earlier this month to maintain the size of the bank’s asset-purchase plan at £200 billion ($318.70 billion). The panel also unanimously backed the decision to keep its key lending rate at a historic low of 0.5%.

On Wednesday, 23 December 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2 points while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite added 3 points and 17 points respectively.

As per US reports, new home sales tumbled 11.3% in November 2009, raising the spectre that previous positive signs in the industry were the result of the government stimulus and were not sustainable.
Meanwhile, the US department of treasury on Wednesday said that it has received repayments on its Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) investments in Wells Fargo and Citigroup to the extent of $45 billion, bringing the total amount of repaid TARP funds to $164 billion. The US treasury now estimates that total bank repayments should exceed $175 billion by the end of 2010, cutting total taxpayer exposure to the banks by three-quarters.

In premarket trading, the Dow was up by 30 points.

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