BSE Sensex gains 520 points as energy stocks rally
MUMBAI (Reuters) - The BSE Sensex and the Nifty rose nearly 3 percent on Friday, marking their biggest single day gain in 1-1/2 years, as energy firms such as Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd and Reliance Industries rallied after the government approved a hefty increase in gas prices.
Shares were also helped by the recovery of the rupee from the record low hit on Wednesday, allowing Indian stocks to post their first weekly gain in four weeks, with the BSE Sensex ending up 3.3 percent.
Gains on Friday were broad-based, with 29 out of 30 Sensex constituents ending higher. However, whether the gains can be sustained will depend on foreign investors who have sold 121.90 billion rupees worth of shares over the previous 13 sessions.
The government is gearing up to announce additional fiscal and economic reforms, including opening up more sectors to foreign investment, in an effort to narrow a current account deficit that hit a record high of 4.8 percent in the previous fiscal year.
"More economic reforms centering around inflows of dollar, probably on foreign direct investment, are seen coming which should aid recovery in stocks," said G. Chokkalingam, executive director & chief investment officer, Centrum Wealth Management.
The magntiude of recent outflows is very low in comparison to the inflows received in 2013 and 2012, Chokkalingam added.
The benchmark BSE Sensex rose 2.75 percent, or 519.86 points, to end at 19,395.81. Despite the weekly gain, the index fell 1.8 percent lower for the month while rising about 3 percent for the quarter.
The Nifty rose 2.81 percent, or 159.85 points, to end at 5,842.20. It gained 3.1 percent for the week but fell 2.4 percent June.
Shares in energy companies surged after the government's approval of a hefty increase in gas prices suggests domestic gas prices could rise to $8.4-8.5 per mmBtu with the new mechanism from a current $4.2 mmBtu.
Oil and Naturas Gas Corp (ONGC) (ONGC.NS) rose 3.4 percent, while Reliance Industries (RELI.NS) gained 3.9 percent.
Stocks beaten down earlier this week rose on value buying. Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC.NS) rose 5 percent, while ICICI Bank (ICBK.NS) ended 3.9 percent higher.
Shares in Coal India (COAL.NS) surged 5.3 percent on media reports the government would set up a coal regulator, which could expedite decisions on pricing and clearances of certain projects in the sector.
Shares in Yes Bank (YESB.NS) gained 4 percent after a government committee approved the bank's proposal to increase foreign equity participation up to 60 percent of the total shares through a qualified institutional placement.
Crompton Greaves (CROM.NS) rose 9 percent after its board approved a share buy-back of up to 2.66 billion rupees.
IFCI (IFCI.NS) rose 18 percent while India Infoline (IIFL.NS) gained 4.1 percent after each said in separate statements on Thursday they would apply to the Reserve Bank of India for banking licenses.
Among stocks that fell, Shriram Transport Finance Company (SRTR.NS) lost 1.6 percent after India's central bank imposed restrictions on Thursday on debt sales from non-bank financial companies.
(Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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