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Mkts rise to 3-wk highs on budget hopes, rate cut expectations


Mumbai: Riding high on optimism over the upcoming Budget and hopes of rate cut, Indian markets rose for the sixth straight day with benchmark Sensex surging 184.38 points to close at three-week high of 29,320.26 today.

Interest-rate sensitive counters like consumer durables, power, capital goods and auto led the rally.

Positive global cues in form of higher closing at other Asian markets and jump in European stocks on speculation that Greece and its euro-area creditors may reach a compromise agreement on its bailout soon, too boosted domestic shares.

The BSE 30-share barometer Sensex spurted by 184.38 points, or 0.63 per cent, to close at 29,320.26. This its highest close in nearly three weeks.

During today’s session, the bluechip index touched a high of 29,411.32 and a low of 29,126.91. The gauge has now gone up by 1,092.84 points, or 3.87 per cent in six straight days.

“Falling crude prices and relief amidst tensions over Greek economy, mixed sentiments amongst domestic market players due to constant flow of news and events related to Union budget kept markets…in a bullish tone,” said Bonanza Portfolio, Senior Vice President, Rakesh Goyal.

Apart from expectations of growth-oriented Budget and faster economic reforms by government, hopes of rate cuts by RBI in view of slowing inflation, also buoyed sentiments. January headline WPI inflation contracted 0.39 per cent.

The NSE Nifty after shuttling between 8808.90 and 8894.30, settled 59.75 points, or 0.68 per cent, up at 8,869.10.

HDFC Ltd was the best gainer today among the 30-share Sensex as it jumped 2.96 per cent.  Other Sensex constituents that rose include Tata Power, TCS, Tata Motors, M&M, NTPC, ICICI Bank, Wipro, Coal India, Cipla, L&T and ITC.

Sectorally, BSE Consumer Durables index rose the most by surging 1.81 per cent, followed by Power 1.45 per cent, Capital Goods 1.34 per cent, IT 1.09 per cent, Auto 0.89 per cent, FMCG 0.72 per cent and Healthcare 0.57 per cent.

Stocks of defence equipment makers such as Pipavav Defence and Bharat Forge perked up after Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised steps to boost domestic defence industry.

The BSE Small cap index rose by 1.04 per cent and the BSE Midcap index rose by 0.84 per cent.

Meanwhile, foreigners sold shares worth a net Rs 182.80 crore on Monday as per provisional data.

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