The journey of the Sensex in 2009

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 24, 2009 10:48 hrs

It was a good start for the market in 2009 with the Sensex mopping up a gain of over 250 points on the first trading session. A positive close on Wall Street on the final trading session of Year 2008, a fall in inflation and hopes of a rate cut sent stock prices surging higher that day. The Sensex did even better a few days later, gaining more than 300 points, again due to rising expectations about a reduction in key bank rates.

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However, the startling disclosure made by B. Ramalinga Raju, Chairman of Satyam Computer Services Ltd then, about financial irregularities that were going on in the company for the past few years, sent stock prices crashing on January 7. The Sensex lost almost 750 points in that session.

The Sensex then saw a few sharp rallies and corrections during the rest of the month. While it moved up by 250 - 330 points on four days, it suffered losses in the range of 225 - 325 points on four sessions before the month ended.

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February was relatively a subdued month for the market, with the Sensex posting big gains and suffering heavy losses on just two and three sessions respectively.

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Weak global markets and disappointing data on the exports front dragged stock prices down sharply and pushed the Sensex down by around 285 points on March 2, 2009. The market suffered another 250 points loss a couple of sessions later and then plunged to around 8040 on March 6, its lowest in year 2009.

However, after plunging to those dismal levels, the market did not suffer any big setback during the rest of the month. On the contrary, it went on to record some strong gains during the later part of the month on expectations global economy would soon be back on track.

Global economic news, quarterly results and sentiment ahead of general elections gave both bulls and the bears equal opportunities to display their strength in April and May. The market had a couple of splendid sessions in the month of May.

Betting on hopes global economy would soon be back on track despite the effect the outbreak of swine flu could have on it, investors across Asian markets went on a buying spree on May 4. European markets rose sharply as well, and the Indian bulls, who did not let go the opportunity, lifted the Sensex up by a whopping 6.4% or 732 points that day.

A couple of weeks and a few good rallies later, the Sensex recorded its fastest even 2,000 points surge in history, taking not more than a few minutes to jump from 12,173.42 to 14,284.21, as the bulls stormed the bourses following the Congress-led UPA front getting a strong mandate in the general elections 2009.

The historic moment for the Sensex came about on 18 May. The bulls shrugged off weak global markets and went for the stocks on expectations the new government would push forward reforms in the financial and insurance sectors and speed up divestment.

Trading was halted upon Sensex rising to 13,480, up 10.7% or 1306 points within the first couple of minutes. Upon resumption of trade a couple of hours later, the barometer shot up again, this time hitting another upper limit, thus forcing the authorities to halt trading for the day. While the Sensex ended the day with a gain of 2,111 points, the Nifty closed stronger by 652 points that day.

The Sensex moved up by over 200 points on as many as 9 sessions in the month of July (it gained 400 plus points on four of these sessions), but had some weak outings as well, the worst setback happening on July 6, when it tumbled by around 870 points as investors went on a selling spree following the Government not coming out with any significantly positive news on the reforms and divestment fronts when it presented the Union Budget.

The BSE barometer gained 200-500 points on six sessions in August, but suffered losses in the range of 250 - 625 points on five days during that month.

The market had a fairly good time in September suffering no big setbacks as such. Recording strong gains on as many as 5 sessions, the barometer was inching way up towards the 17,000 mark, which it eventually achieved on the final session of the month.

After recording some good rallies and suffering a few big losses earlier in the month, the Sensex recorded its high for the year during the Muhurat Session on October 17, when it rose to 17,493.17, but declined almost consistently during the last few days of the month and dropped down to around 15,300 by 3rd November 2009.

A few strong rallies and some big declines later, the Sensex stood at 17,231.11 on Wednesday, the December 23, recording a strong gain of around 7,600 points or 78.6% for the year. The barometer, which had ended at 9647.31 on December 31, 2008, plunged to 8047.17 in early March 2009, and if one considers the surge from the low, the rise of the barometer looks even more attractive.

The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange, which too saw several ups and downs during the year, gained 73.85% or around 2185 points to 5144.60 (closing figure as on 23 December 2009). During the year, the Nifty touched a low of 2539.45 and a high of 5182.55.

Besides large cap stocks, several midcap and smallcap stocks also came back strongly after previous year's terrible setback. While the Midcap index rebounded by around 110%, the Smallcap barometer zoomed by a little over 125%. The Midcap index hit its best mark in year in mid October, while the Smallcap index rose to a new yearly higher on December 24. Both of them had hit their lows on 9 March.

Among the sectoral indices, BSE Metal and Auto strongly outperformed the benchmark indices. While the Metal index vaulted 237%, the Auto index gained more than 200% during the year. Thanks to the recovery in the US economy, information technology stocks forced their way back into the reckoning and lifted the BSE IT index up by around 130%.

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The Bankex, Consumer Durables, Capital Goods, Oil & Gas, Healthcare, Power, PSU, Realty and Teck indices surged 0.6% - 1.1%, while the FMCG index gained modest 40%.

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