Money on the markets
A maturing market amid the mayhem
India’s benchmark stock index did reasonably well in the first half of 2010 as compared to its emerging market peers. The Sensex gained 1.4 percent during the period, and outperformed China’s Shanghai Composite Index and Brazil’s Bovespa which declined 9.6 percent and 26.8 percent respectively.
Shares in Reliance Industries, India’s top listed firm which has the heaviest weight in the index, barely changed during the period, but a Supreme Court ruling on a gas dispute and Ambani brothers reconciliation kept the company in focus.
Banking stocks performed well during the period, with the sectoral Bankex posting gains of more than 7 percent. Shares in SBI, India’s largest lender rose marginally, but private lender HDFC Bank jumped 12.6 percent during the period.
Among other sectors, oil & gas index rose 3.85 percent whereas the realty index was battered and posted losses of 17 percent.
SBI’s chairman said that earnings of the bank are seen rising 30-35 percent in the current quarter, with retail loans growing at about twice the pace from the year earlier.
The Sensex topped 15,000 points during trade on Wednesday for the first time in nine months, but lost steam and closed at 14,870 as investors booked profits.
The 30-share sensitive index swung from an intra-day high of 15,045 to an intra-day low of 14,734, and finally closed 4 points down. The fifty-share Nifty ended 0.12 percent higher at 4530.