Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sensex gains most in three weeks

MUMBAI: India’s Sensitive Index rose the most in nearly three weeks as faster Japanese economic growth and better-than-expected US retail sales eased concern the world’s two biggest economies are sliding into a recession.
The Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensitive Index, or Sensex rose 817.49, or 4.8%, to 17,766.63, its biggest rise since January 25 and the largest fluctuation among indexes included in global benchmarks.

The S&P CNX Nifty added 272.55, or 5.5%, to 5,202 and Nifty Futures for February delivery advanced 5.7% to 5,187.
Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, India’s top maker of thermal power equipment, rose the most in 20 months after winning a contract. DLF Ltd, the nation’s largest developer, rose the most in more than a week after it won the title sponsorship rights for the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket series.
“Ultimately this day had to happen sooner than later,â€‌ said Gajendra Nagpal, chief executive officer at brokerage Unicon Financial Intermediaries. “Valuations had become attractive and a lot of insurance money was waiting on the sidelines as this quarter is the peak business time for insurance companies who are flush with funds.â€‌
Private refiners Reliance Petroleum Ltd and Essar Oil Ltd along with Centurion Bank of Punjab Ltd and state-run Steel Authority of India Ltd advanced on the announcement of their inclusion in a number of MSCI Inc indexes.
Bharat Heavy gained Rs250.25, or 12.6%, to 2,232, its biggest percentage gain since June 15, 2006. It said it had won a Rs2bn ($50mn) contract from India’s largest explorer Oil & Natural Gas Corp Construction company Punj Lloyd Ltd rose Rs34.9, or 10.5%, to 366.5, its biggest gain in almost four months, after it said it bagged an order worth Rs11.2bn.
DLF rose Rs49.85, or 6.1%, to 864.85. Reliance Energy Ltd, the nation’s second largest utility by market value, rose Rs150.05, or 9.6%, to 1,708.15, its biggest gain in three weeks.
State-run refiners gained after the government announced an increase in retail pump prices for gasoline and diesel after a gap of 20 months to lower the impact of record crude oil costs on such companies.
The Indian rupee meanwhile advanced by the most in almost four months on speculation gains in the nation’s stocks will lure overseas investors to local equities.
The currency rose after the central bank said Asia’s third- largest economy can sustain “highâ€‌ growth in the coming years.
The rupee rose 0.4% to 39.6175 per dollar at the close in Mumbai, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It may rise to as much as 39.5 in coming days, analysts said. – Bloomberg