Sensex snaps two-day fall as metal sector led gains; up 91 pts | business | Hindustan Times
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Sensex snaps two-day fall as metal sector led gains; up 91 pts

business Updated: Dec 24, 2010 16:46 IST

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Snapping two-day falling streak, the BSE benchmark Sensex rose 91 points as investors reshuffled portfolios amid slowdown in buying by foreign funds ahead of the year-end.

After a weak start, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) barometer Sensex recovered to close higher by 90.78 points at 20,073.66. The benchmak lost nearly 77 points in last two sessions.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 31.60 points to 6,011.60, after touching a low of 5,940.25 points.

The total traded volume on both the leading bourses fell to 824 million shares on Thursday, compared with an average of 1,322 million of the past three months.

Before the beginning of the year-end holidays in global markets, the under current was strong on report that the US increased spending in November, for a fifth straight month, and companies stepped up orders for equipment. Another report showed a measure of consumer confidence climbed to a six-month high in December.

Brokers said that business volumes declined as investors were seen inter-changing their portfolios with commodities producers on expectation of rise in demand, and foreign funds slowed down their participations ahead of Christmas and New Year holidays.

They said that a weak trend in global markets as eurozone fears returned after Portugal's debt rating was cut due to concerns that it could slip into recession, partly influenced the market sentiment and capped any rise.

The consumer durable sector gained the most by 1.79% to 6,105.66 followed by metal index by 1.37% to 17,274.06. The FMCG index rose by 1.33% to 3,585.14 and healthcare index by 1.01% to 6,580.15.

Sterlite Industries, the biggest copper and zinc producer, extended gains for the fourth day by adding 2.58% to Rs 184.80 and Hindalco Industries, a leading aluminium producer by 2.42% to Rs 239.35 as metal prices climbed to record in overseas markets amid expectation a strengthening global recovery will boost demand.

The uptrend was partly capped as stocks in auto, PSU and oil and gas sectors slipped on investors off-loading to mop up funds to invest in fundamentally strong stocks.

With the investors looking for low-valuation stocks, the smallcap sector index rose by 0.32% to 9,354.43 and midcap index by 0.25% to 7,627.20.