Indian stocks rise for the 6th straight session

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    Led by buying in heavyweight Reliance Industries, Infosys and auto stocks, Indian markets closed higher for the 6th straight session. The markets ended higher for the 4th straight week, with foreign Institutional Investors (FII) buying heavily into Indian stocks.

    The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened in the positive at 17,201.33 points, closed at 17,233.98 points, up 0.92% or 156.80 points from its previous close at 17,077.18 points.

    The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange closed 0.90 percent or 46.40 points higher at 5,204.70 points.

    On the international front, Japanese stocks dropped from their peak of 3 months high on the Nikkei 225, which it reached last week, as NEC Corp, Nintendo Co Ltd and Nippon Steel Corp were expected to post big annual losses. The US Fed’s announcement that it will keep rates “exceptionally low” an euphemism for near zero interest rates, had buoyed market sentiment, but the expected losses made Nikkei close 0.1% below yesterday’s close.

    The Hang Seng, Hong Kong’s stocks exchange closed higher by 0.3%. Back home, the Sensex touched a high of 17,258.97 points and low of 17,106.57 points in the intra-day. BSE Oil & Gas, Consumer Durables and Metal indices were the major sectoral gainers today rising 2-3% each.

    Reliance has notched up gains of 4% over its buyback offer, which is to start on the 1st of February. Gujarat State Petronet, ONGC, Gail (India) and Cairn India, were other major gainers on the Oil and gas index, each rising by nearly 2%. In the consumer durables sector, Titan Industries, Gitanjali Gems and VIP Industries and Blue Star, were the major gainers rising by 3-5% each.

    Among metal stocks Sterlite, Tata Steel, Hindalco Industries and Hindustan Zinc rose by 2-6% after the LMEX, the metal stock index on the London Stock Exchange rose by 2.4%. The Steel Authority of India (SAIL) rose by 7%, amidst reports that the company planned to set aside about Rs 14,500 crore for capital expenditure in the next fiscal year.

    At the broader markets, the BSE midcap index closed 0.66 percent higher at 5,872.36 points and the BSE smallcap index advanced 1.30 percent at 6,491.69 points. Buying activities intensified in Reliance Industries Ltd 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.

    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.

    IANS inputs