India’s Sensex tops 17,000 points, Nifty rules above 5,000 (Lead)

Mumbai, Nov 16 ( Indian equities soared and pushed a key index above the 17,000-point mark Monday as sentiments were buoyed by the positive weekend numbers on industrial output and some positive cues from the government on its divestment plans.

The sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) opened higher at 16,893.11 points, against Friday’s close at 16,848.83 points, and soon shot up to a high of 17,055.44 points within 15 minutes into the trading session.

At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader 50-share S&P CNX Nifty was also ruling firm, breaching the 5,000-point mark at 5058.15 point, with a gain of 59.2 points, or 1.18 percent, over the previous close at 4,998.95 points.

Half-hour thereafter, the 30-share Sensed was ruling at 17,044.36 points, with a smart gain of 195.53 points, or 1.16 percent. But for the sector-specific index for information technology, all the 12 others of the exchange were in the positive territory.

Among the 30 Sensex stocks, 27 were in the green and only three scrips – Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and Infosys Technologies, the top software exporters in the country – were in the red.

Maruti-Suzuki, DLF, Sterlite, State Bank of India, Hindalco, ICICI Bank, Associated Cement Companies, Tata Motors, Tata Steel and Tata Power were among the top 10 gainers, data with the bourse showed.

The government had Friday said all ministries have been asked to compile a list of state-run firms for sale of stake and listing on stock exchanges, even as it expected partial divestment in at least three such firms by the end of this fiscal.

Disinvestment Secretary Sunil Mitra said as per data available for 2007-08, there were 10 listed state-run firms with less than 10 percent public holding, while 50 others met the criteria for divestment in terms of profits and net worth.

Statistics on India’s industrial production a day earlier showed a 9.1-percent growth in September, compared to 6 percent in the corresponding month last year, in yet another sign of economic recovery in the country.