Mumbai, Sep 17 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities market edged 78 points higher to close at a 14-month high Monday on the back of capital goods, banks and power stocks gaining after Reserve Bank of India cut the cash reserve ratio and the opening of the retail and aviation sectors to foreign investment during the weekend by the government.
The government Friday allowed foreign airlines to invest up to 49 percent in private domestic carriers. The market sentiments were also lifted after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced a cut in the cash reserve ratio (CRR) that will release Rs.17,000 crore into the economy.
The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 18,619.90 points, closed at 18,542.31 points, 78.04 points or 0.42 percent up from its previous day's close at 18,464.27 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 18,715.03 and a low of 18,480.54 points in intra-day trade. The BSE midcap index was up 71.12 points while the smallcap index rose 74.54 points.
The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange closed 0.58 percent up at 5,610 points.
On the sectoral front, the BSE realty index was up 101.45 points while the capital goods index was up 375.55 points and the banking index was up 394.50 points.
Jindal Steel was the biggest Sensex gainer closing 5.99 percent higher at Rs.394.55.
Other major gainers were ICICI Bank, up 5.39 percent at Rs.1,060.60; SBI, up 5.36 percent at Rs.2,076.15; Larsen and Toubro, up 4.35 percent at Rs.1,551.65; BHEL, up 4.30 percent at Rs.213.40; and Sterlite Inds, up 4.16 percent at Rs.102.75.
Kingfisher Airlines scrip touched its circuit limit of Rs.12.97 or an increase of 19.98 percent and closed at the same level from a previous close of Rs.10.81.
SpiceJet also closed at Rs.38.60, an increase of 11.88 percent before touching a high of Rs.41.30 from its previous close of Rs.34.50 Friday.
Among the retail stocks, Pantaloon Retail gained 19 percent.
IT and FMCG stocks, on the other hand, saw huge selling pressure. ITC lost 5.48 percent to close at Rs.253.40, while TCS ended 5.03 percent down at Rs.1,340.90. Infosys also fell 2.67 percent to close at Rs.2,562.60.
Other main losers were Dr Reddys Lab, down 4.30 percent at Rs.1,670.95; and Hindustan Unilever, down 2.76 percent at Rs.532.30.
Asian markets closed mixed. Japan's Nikkei closed 1.83 percent up, while Shanghai's composite index closed 2.14 percent lower. Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed 0.14 percent up.
At closing bell here, European markets were in red. France's CAC was down 0.60 percent and so was Germany's DAX, down 0.19 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 was trading 0.22 percent lower.