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Sensex scales 258 pts to 2-month high, Nifty above 8,400

BSE

Mumbai : A set of strong corporate earnings numbers gave the market enough comfort as the Sensex soared by over 258 points today to end at 27,376, a two-month high, with covering of short positions ahead of derivatives expiry making the job easier.

The big domestic trigger coming up next is Union budget, which is due on February 1.

Encouraging results from blue-chips led by HDFC Bank, Tata Communications and HCL Tech got investors going, with mood turning positive after a higher opening in Europe.

The 30-share pack resumed higher and moved in a range of 27,393.35 and 27,140.85 before ending at 27,375.58, a sharp gain of 258.24 points, or 0.95 per cent. This is its highest closing since November 10, 2016, when it closed at 27,517.68.

It had gained 82.84 points in the previous session. The NSE 50-share Nifty also recaptured the 8,400-mark by rising 84.30 points, or 1 per cent, to end at 8,475.80.

The expiry of futures and options contracts is coming up on Thursday. The rupee too closed higher against the dollar.

But traders remained cautious ahead of the Union budget which will throw light on how the government spends money on various social and infrastructure projects.

HDFC Bank ended 1.84 per cent higher after net profit grew 15.14 per cent to Rs 3,865.33 crore for the December quarter.

HT Media went up 1.32 per cent after the company put up a similar show, helped by higher other income and lower tax expenses. Tata Communications surged 5.35 per cent after an over 12-fold jump in December quarter profit.

In the domestic market, 26 stocks in the 30-share Sensex team ended higher while the remaining lost.

Metal firmed up 1.69 per cent, followed by auto (1.67 per cent), power (1.43 per cent), oil and gas (1.31 per cent), capital goods (1.26 per cent), PSU (1.12 per cent) and banking (0.86 per cent).

Bajaj Auto came out on top, up 3.42 per cent. M&M rose 2.68 per cent, Adani Ports 2.41 per cent, Coal India 1.96 per cent, L&T 1.88 per cent and Tata Motors (1.74 per cent).

But Bharti Airtel fell 1 per cent, followed by Infosys, HUL and ICICI Bank.

Broader markets also traded in a positive zone. The BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices rose 0.96 per cent and 0.85 per cent, respectively.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 288.80 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.22 per cent while Shanghai Composite edged higher 0.18 per cent. However, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.55 per cent.

European shares were trading higher too.

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