Sensex rises for fourth straight week; up 495 points

Sensex rises for fourth straight week; up 495 points

A benchmark index for Indian equities markets rallied nearly three percent in this week's trade, closing in the positive for the fourth straight week on the back of strong buying support from foreign institutional investors.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) ended the week at 17,233.98 points, up 2.96 percent or 494.97 points from its previous week's close at 16,739.01 points.

The Sensex gained 0.92 percent or 156.80 points to close at 17,233.98 points Friday, the highest level in almost 10 weeks.

The 30-scrip index has jumped almost nine percent since the beginning of this month on the back of strong buying support from foreign institutional investors.

These investors have pumped in over $2 billion since the beginning of the year. FIIs net inflow was $252 million Friday. 

In fact, overseas investors were the net sellers in Indian equities market last year. The FIIs had off-loaded equities worth Rs.3,642 crore ($728 million) in 2011.

Foreign fund flows have also led to a strong recovery in the value of rupee. The Indian rupee rose to a 11-week high of 49.31 against a US dollar this week.

The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange has also rallied almost 9 percent this month. The Nifty closed 0.90 percent or 46.40 points higher at 5,204.70 points Friday, the last trading day of the week.

An unexpected cut in the cash reserve ratio (CRR) by the Reserve Bank of India boosted investors' sentiments in the market this week.

The RBI in its third quarter policy review cut the cash reserve ratio (CRR), the amount against deposits which commercial banks have to keep as liquid assets such as cash, by 50 basis points to 5.5 percent from 6 percent.

“This step will release Rs.320 billion into the system," RBI Governor D. Subbarao said Jan 24 after presenting the third quarter review of the monetary policy for the current fiscal year.

Buying activities intensified in Reliance Industries Ltd this week as buy-back date of the company's share nears.

The Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries have offered to buy back up to 12 crore equity shares worth Rs.10,440 crore from the open market at a maximum price of Rs.870 per share. The buy-back will start from Feb 1 and close Jan 19, 2013.

Reliance Industries share rallied 3.48 percent to close at Rs.817.60 Friday.
Other prominent Sensex gainers Friday were: Sterlite Inds, up 5.49 percent at Rs.120.15; Tata Motors, up 4.10 percent at Rs.239.90; L&T, up 3.76 percent at Rs.1,381.60; Bharti Airtel, up 3.66 percent at Rs.372.55; and Tata Steel, up 3.09 percent at Rs.458.75.
Major losers on the 30-scrip index were: DLF, down 3.47 percent at Rs.211.55; Bajaj Auto, down 3.07 percent at Rs.1,538.20; BHEL, down 2.84 percent at Rs.273.65; and Hero MotoCorp, down 2.21 percent at Rs.1821.85.