Strong start to Feb series: Sensex up 401 pts, Nifty above 7450


Moneycontrol Bureau After a disastrous January, Dalal Street has begun the new February futures and options (F&O)series on a positive note. Stocks rallied from the word go, due to Japan negative interest rate and some strong global cues. The Sensex closed up 401.12 points or 1.6 percent at 24870.69 and the Nifty was up 138.90 points or 1.9 percent at 7563.55. About 1561 shares have advanced, 1043 shares declined, and 183 shares are unchanged. Both major indices have gained 2 percent this week. Midcaps were not far behind with the index gaining over 1 percent. The Bank of Japan ramped up its aggressive stimulus campaign on Friday, adding negative interest rates on central bank deposits to its massive asset-buying program, stunning financial markets that expected no action or a moderate increase in asset purchases. The central bank said the move was aimed at forestalling the risk of global financial turbulence hurting business confidence and reviving the “deflationary mindset” it is striving to wipe out with aggressive money printing. Asian shares jumped and the yen fell across the board and sovereign bonds rallied after the BOJ said it would charge banks for excess reserves parked with the institution, an aggressive policy pioneered by the European Central Bank. Mark Faber of the Gloom, Boom and Doom report says Bank of Japan’s decision is wrong. “These low interest rates in Japan in my view, especially with the negative interest rates are rather negative than positive for the economy and for the typical Japanese household,” Faber adds. Michael Every of Rabobank also says negative interest rates won’t solve Japan’s problems. Crude oil prices have continued to rally in trade today. This after Russia announced that Saudi Arabia has proposed a cut in oil production. Saudi Arabia denial to not cut the oil production has not dampened the surge in oil prices. Back home, Hero MotoCorp, Sun Pharma, Coal India, Bajaj Auto and Dr Reddy’s Labs were top gainers while SBI, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, NTPC and ITC were losers in the Sensex. The government’s 10 percent stake sale in Engineers India got fully subscribed today. At the floor price of Rs 189 per share, the sale of over 3.36 crore shares would fetch about Rs 637 crore to the exchequer.