Sensex gains after six consecutive loss-making sessions

    By IANS,

    Mumbai : A benchmark index of Indian stock markets Wednesday closed 326 points higher after traders picked up front-line stocks, which were at lower valuations after the recent sell-off.

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    The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 19,353.34 points, closed at 19,534.1 points — up 337.76 points or 1.76 percent from its previous close at 19,196.34 points.

    The index had rebounded after a sharp dive during the day as official figures showed industrial output had fallen to an 18-month low.

    It slipped into the red, touching an intra-day low of 19,048.56 points, after government figures showed that industrial production grew at a slow 2.7 percent in November.

    The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange too closed higher, shutting shop at 5,863.25 points, up 109.15 points or 1.9 percent.

    Broader markets also moved up after initial dullness, with the BSE midcap index closing 1.68 percent up and the BSE small cap index ending 1.42 percent higher.

    Consumer durables, realty and metals stocks saw major buying, while capital goods scrips ended lower.

    The market breadth was positive, with 1,831 stocks advancing compared to 1,050 scrips on the decline, while 138 stocks remained unchanged.

    Among gainers on the Sensex were Sterlite Industries, up 6.49 percent at Rs.183.05; Tata Motors, up 4.83 percent at Rs.1,216.40; ICICI Bank, up 4.47 percent at Rs.1,068.90, and TCS, up 3.28 percent at Rs.1,135.50.

    Top Sensex losers included Bajaj Auto, down 1.52 percent at Rs.1,286.70; L&T, down 1.43 percent at Rs.1,759.90; Hindustan Unilever, down 1.29 percent at Rs.305, and Cipla, down 0.86 percent at Rs.345.65.

    Asian stock markets nudged higher, although traders were cautious about the European debt crisis. Sentiments were helped by Japan’s announcement that it will buy bonds from a eurozone rescue fund to help finance Ireland’s bailout.

    The Chinese Shanghai Composite index moved up 0.62 percent at 2,821.31 points, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended 1.54 percent higher at 24,125.61 points.

    The Japanese Nikkei closed flat at 10,512.8 points.

    European stocks too moved up with traders finding comfort from news that the European Union was discussing plans to expand a euro 440 billion bailout fund for reviving economies in the Euro zone which were fighting a debt crisis.

    Around mid-day, the German DAX was ruling 1.28 percent higher at 7,030.27 points, while the French CAC 40 was trading 1.35 percent up at 3,914.19 points.

    The UK’s FTSE was ruling 0.37 percent higher at 6,036.29 points.