Markets top super 2009 rally by closing on highs

Year 2009 was the strongest year for the markets since 1999. The Sensex closed the session at a new 19-month high and rallied over 80% in 2009. This was beyond expectations of analysts because the markets saw big correction in the second half of 2008 due to US housing and financial bubble. Ambareesh Baliga of Karvy Stock Broking said, "If one goes back to the beginning of 2009, I don't think anyone in the market would have thought about 15,000, forget 17,000 because at that time the markets were at 9,000 and the range people were talking about was between 6,000 and 12,000."

Today, the markets witnessed volatility throughout the day due to F&O expiry. The Nifty shut shop above the psychological 5,200 mark for the first time since May 02, 2008 and shot up 75% in 2009.

Oil & gas, power, capital goods, and select auto, banking & technology stocks helped the indices to remain on the higher side. However, selling in the last couple of hours in pharma & realty stocks along with Reliance Communications, JSPL, ICICI Bank, PNB, HUL, Idea & Reliance Infrastructure limited the gains to some extent.

The 30-share BSE Sensex closed at 17,464.81, up 120.99 points or 0.7% and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 0.61% or 31.60 points, to settle at 5,201.05, after seeing an intraday high of 17,530.94 and 5,221.85, respectively.

While commenting on the year 2010, Baliga said the Sensex would see a range of 14,000 to 20,000-21,000 and the market could cross earlier highs by the end of 2010. He said, "If the Nifty crosses 5,200 easily and settles at higher levels, I suppose over the next one week or 10 days we should see levels of around 5,400."

Punita Kumar Sinha, Senior Managing Director of the Blackstone Group expected 2010 to be driven by earnings and not by macro factors. ''It will be volatile.''