Sensex ends 81 points up in choppy trade (Roundup)

Mumbai, May 31 (IANS) A benchmark index for Indian equities advanced for the fourth straight day Monday, ending 81 points higher than its previous close, in volatile trade.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 16,872.17 points, closed at 16,944.63 points, 81.57 points or 0.48 percent up from its previous close at 16,863.06 points.

At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader 50-share S&P CNX Nifty ended at 5,086.3 points, up 0.39 percent from its previous close at 5,066.55 points.

Activity picked up in broader markets as well with the the BSE midcap index ending 1.17 percent up and the BSE smallcap index 0.62 percent higher.

Realty stocks came under selling pressure, while scrips of PSUs and auto firms were among the gainers.

The market breadth was positive with as many as 1,627 stocks advancing, while 1,160 scrip declined and 111 remained unchanged.

The government’s announcement that the economy grew by 7.4 percent for the financial year ended March 31, propped up by a notable 10.8 percent expansion in factory output, failed to enthuse markets for long.

The Sensex made some modest gains after the announcement, but soon slipped back into tepid trade.

Among the gainers on the 30-scrip, Sensex were M&M, up 5.03 percent at Rs.572.45; ONGC, up 3.21 percent at Rs.1,167.20; BHEL, up 1.62 percent at Rs.2,356.65; and SBI, up 1.48 percent at Rs.2,268.35.

Prominent losers included Sterlite Industries, down 2.79 percent at Rs.662.85; Reliance Communications, down 1.76 percent at Rs.144.85; Jaiprakash Associates, down 1.54 percent at Rs.124.90; and DLF, down 1.34 percent at Rs.276.35.

Among other Asian markets, the Japanese Nikkei ended flat at 9,768.7 points, up 0.06 percent.

Real estate scrips took a beating in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, after authorities sought to curb speculation in the property market.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed flat at 19,765.19, while the Shanghai composite index lost 2.4 percent to close at 2,592.15.

The South Korean Kospi, however, ended with a gain of 1.14 percent gain at 1,641.25 points.

Markets in Europe were in a slump.

The French CAC 40 was trading 0.09 percent up at 3,518.1 points, while its German peer, DAX was ruling 0.42 percent higher at 5,971.05 points.

Britain’s markets were closed Monday.