Sensex closes in green on first session of 2012

Mumbai, Jan 2 (IANS) After losing nearly a quarter of its value in 2011, a benchmark index of Indian equities closed 63 points higher Monday, the first trading day of 2012, on good buying support in energy, technology and metal stocks.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened in the positive at 15,534.67 points, closed at 15,517.92 points, up 0.41 percent or 63 points from its previous close at 15,454.92 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 15,542.85 points and low of 15,358.02 points in the intra-day.

The benchmark Sensex ended in the positive terrain for the first time in the last five sessions. The 30 scrip index had lost 516 points in the last four trading sessions.

The Sensex had lost 24.20 percent or 4,934.15 points in 2011.

At the National Stock Exchange, the 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty also closed in the positive, snapping four consecutive days of losing streak. The Nifty closed 0.27 percent or 12.45 points higher at 4,636.75 points.

The BSE smallcap index advanced 0.11 percent while the BSE midcap index fell 0.07 percent.

Among the sectoral indices there was good buying support in oil and gas, consumer durables, technology and metal stocks.

The BSE oil and gas index rose 1.31 percent, IT index advanced 1.23 percent and metal index rose 0.64 percent.

Prominent Sensex gainers were: Coal India, up 3.61 percent at Rs.311.70; Tata Motors, up 3.03 percent at Rs.183.80; RIL, up 2.03 percent at Rs.706.95; Maruti Suzuki, up 1.82 percent at Rs.936.80; and ICICI Bank, up 1.73 percent at Rs.696.45.

Bajaj Auto slumped 7.4 percent at Rs.1475 after the company announced lower than expected sales numbers. Bajaj Auto sales growth slowed to 10 percent in December as compared to 25 percent in the previous month.

Other major Sensex losers were: Hero MotoCorp, down 3.50 percent at Rs.1,838.55; Hindalco Inds, down 3.02 percent at Rs.112.25; DLF, down 2.13 percent at Rs.179.15; and NTPC, down 1.53 percent at Rs.158.15.