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Sensex ends volatile 2016 on robust note, sprints 260 points

Stocks signed off 2016 on a cheerful note, with the Sensex surging over 260 points on Friday to close at over a fresh two-week high of 26,626 on the final trading session of the year, amid positive Asian cues.

The beginning of January 2017 series of futures and options made investors upbeat.

With the deadline for depositing banned notes ending on Friday and ahead of the approaching Union budget, investors accelerated buying activity with hopes that the government might come up with a series of steps to boost the economy.

Sentiment turned for the better after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said there has been a sharp jump in tax collections, belying fears of a sharp slowdown in the economy

in view of demonetization.

After a higher start, the 30-share index hit the day’s high of 26,678.60 and closed up 260.31 points, or 0.99%, at 26,626.46 — a level last seen on December 13 when it settled at 26,697.82.

It had gained 155.47 points on Thursday as December derivatives contracts expired amid recovery in the rupee.

The Nifty rose 82.20 points, or 1.01%, to end at 8,185.80, after touching the day’s high of 8,197.

For the week, the Sensex and the NSE Nifty recorded a rise of 585.76 points, or 2.24%, and 200.05, or 2.50%, respectively. “The euphoria continued on the last trading day of the year, hoping for radical remarks in the Prime Minister’s speech on Saturday. Additionally, an expectation of tax sops in the budget, weakness of the dollar and robust tax collection are adding to the positive sentiment,” said Vinod

Nair, Head of Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

The year saw the Sensex zooming to a high of 29,077.28 on September 8 and a low of 22,494.61 on February 29. Friday’s closing meant a net gain of 508.92 points, or 1.94% from its last year-end close of 26,117.54.

During the year, the Nifty gained 239.45 points, or 3.01%. The gauge had climbed to a high of 8,968.70 on September 7 and touched a low of 6,825.80 on February 29.

Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 957.83 crore as per provisional data. But foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net sold shares worth Rs 662.29 crore on Thursday. GAIL saw the maximum jump, up 3.07%, followed by Sun Pharma (2.59%), ITC (2.31%) and PowerGrid (2.14%).

In terms of sectors, the rally was driven by FMCG (up 1.67%), power (1.30%), healthcare (1.11%) and realty (1.10%).

Broader markets such as BSE mid-cap and small-cap ended higher with gains of 1.07% and 0.77%, respectively.

Trading was thin across the globe during the last day of the year, with volumes remaining below average. In the rest of Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.94 per cent while Shanghai Composite gained 0.24%. Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.16%.

In Europe, London’s FTSE, Germany’s Frankfurt and France’s Paris were down by up to 0.25% in their late morning deals.

Of the 30-share Sensex pack, 26 ended higher while 4 closed lower. “With a long weekend ahead, especially for US and UK markets, which are closed on Monday amid new year celebrations, the early rush fizzled out. The restraint in the latter part of the day was also eyeing key economic releases next week, including PMI and US jobs data, which turn the focus on macros again,” said Anand James, Chief Market

Strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services. The market breadth remained positive as 1,758 stocks ended higher, 860 declined while 195 remained unchanged.

The total turnover on BSE hit Rs 3,136.27 crore, higher than Rs 1,990.45 crore registered in the previous trading session.