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Sensex takes gains further, soars 333 pts on rate cut odds


Mumbai : Increased prospects of a lower policy rate and firm Asian shares rubbed off on markets as the Sensex ended in the positive zone for the second straight session by soaring 333 points to close at 25,285, a nearly 11-week high.

The broader NSE Nifty again went past the 7,700 level. A cautious stance of the US Federal Reserve meaning more capital inflows and the government’s decision to slash rates on small savings added to expectations that RBI will go the distance and lower rate at its first policy meet of 2016-17 on April 5.
Additionally, a lower retail inflation at 5.18 per cent in February provides more room for RBI to act, said traders.

Sustained foreign fund inflows and a rising rupee brightened mood further, they added.

After retaking the 25,000-mark, the 30-share Sensex advanced to a high of 25,327.45 before settling higher by 332.63 points, or 1.33 per cent, at 25,285.37 — its highest closing since January 6.

The gauge had gained 275.37 points on Friday as foreign funds continued to pump in money amid a firm global trend after the Fed indicated a slower pace of rate increases in coming days.

The 50-share Nifty too recaptured the 7,700-mark and ended at 7,704.25, up 99.90 points, or 1.31 per cent.

In the 30-share Sensex kitty, Hindustan Unilever emerged as the top gainer, up 4.05 per cent, followed by SBI 2.93 per cent, Sun Pharma 2.42 per cent and L&T 2.38 per cent.

Tata Motors, Wipro, HDFC Ltd, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, ITC Ltd, HDFC Bank, Cipla, ONGC, Maruti Suzuki and RIL all advanced.

Jewellery stocks today rose sharply by up to 11.11 per cent after jewellers called off their 18-day old strike demanding rollback of proposed excise duty on non-silver jewellery.

On BSE, Shares of Shree Ganesh Jewellery House jumped 11.11 per cent, Gitanjali Gems 7.10 per cent, Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri 10.53 per cent, PC Jeweller 3.22 per cent and Titan Company 1.24 per cent.

Capital goods hogged limelight by rising 2.01 per cent, followed by consumer durables (1.80 per cent), realty (1.78 per cent), banking (1.70 per cent), FMCG (1.65 per cent), PSU (1.21 per cent), auto (1.19 per cent) and oil & gas (1.18 per cent).

The broader markets too ticked up, helped by persistent buying by retail investors. The BSE mid-cap and small-cap closed higher by up to 1.36 per cent.

Globally, Asian stocks ruled firm and even Europe had a better trend in early deals.

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended 0.06 per cent up while Japanese financial markets remained closed today for a public holiday. Shanghai Composite closed 2.15 per cent higher after policymakers loosened controls on margin lending.

Meanwhile, foreign investors bought shares worth Rs 1,712.62 crore on Friday, as per provisional data.

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