Mumbai, Jan 2: The BSE Sensex recovered from early losses to close 63 points up at 15,517.92 in the New Year on value buying after four sessions of decline, although investors remained cautious despite the government move to allow QFIs to directly buy Indian equities.
Most of the Asian markets remained close on account of holidays and did not offer any firm cues to investors.
However, steady openings in Europe helped improve the sentiment, although trading remained thin.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer resumed firm but fell sharply.
The sentiment improved, however, and helped it end at 15,517.92, up 63 points or 0.41 per cent. In the last four sessions, it had tumbled by 515.83 points or 3.23 per cent.
The broader NSE 50-issue index Nifty gained 12.45 points or 0.27 per cent to 4,636.75.
“Indian bourses started the first trading session of the year 2012 on a cautious and a choppy note.
In the absence of any major overseas cues, Sensex opened on a soft note. Despite positive news of the government allowing overseas individual investors to directly buy or sell local equities, the start was a bit timid,” said Shanu Goel of Bonanza Portfolio.
The government decided yesterday to allow Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs) to directly invest in the Indian equity market from January 15, to attract more foreign funds against the backdrop of significant foreign capital outflows.
Besides, below-expected sales of Bajaj auto and TVS motor saw their stocks fall sharply.
“Two wheeler majors witnessed heavy selling pressure on the back of lower-than-expected sales in December,” said Milan Bavishi Head Research Inventure Growth and Securities.
Sectorally, consumer durables, refinery, IT and tech stocks attracted good buying, while some of the FMCG and auto stocks suffered losses.
In Asia, markets in China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore were closed, while Kospi ended in the positive terrain. Taiwanese equities finished 1.69 per cent lower.
However, European markets were firm in afternoon deals.
The CAC (France) was up 0.69 per cent and the DAX (Germany) by 1.52 per cent, while UK's FTSE was closed today.
After pulling out Rs 616.90 crore on December 29, FIIs sold shares worth Rs 178.15 crore as per provisional data on stock exchanges.
Of the Sensex scrips, 19 closed in the green, while others finished in the red. Coal India was the top gainer with a rise of 3.61 per cent, followed by Tata Motors (3.03 pc), RIL (2.03 pc), Maruti Suzuki (1.82 pc), ICICI Bank (1.73 pc), Tata Steel (1.58 pc), TCS (1.46 pc), Infosys (1.44 pc), L&T (1.37 pc) and Jindal Steel (1.35 pc).
However, Bajaj Auto dipped 7.40 per cent, Hero MotoCorp (3.50 pc), Hindalco (3.02 pc), DLF (2.13 pc), NTPC (1.53 pc), ITC (1.44 pc), M&M (1.35 pc), HUL (1.32 pc) and BHEL (1.07pc).
Among the sectoral indices, BSE-Consumer Durables rose 1.35 per cent, Oil & Gas (1.31 pc), IT (1.23 pc), while FMCG dropped 1.31 pc and Auto by 1.20 pc.
The total market breadth on the BSE was positive as 1,408 stocks closing with gains, while 1,259 finished with losses.
The market turnover was low at Rs 1,367.38 crore.