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Sensex advances for 2nd straight day on stimulus hopes

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Mumbai :Helped by prospects of more stimulus in Europe and Japan and a recovery in oil prices following a severe storm in the US, the benchmark Sensex rose for the second straight day and closed over 50 points up at 24,485.95.

Mood remained upbeat as Asia ruled firm and investors bet on additional central bank stimulus measures after the global rout in equities at the start of the year.

The 30-share Sensex barometer opened higher and rose further, but failed to keep its momentum due to profit-booking as it settled higher by 50.29 points, or 0.21 per cent, at 24,485.95.

The gauge had rallied 473 points in the previous trading session on Friday.

The 50-issue NSE Nifty ended at 7,436.15, up 13.70 points, or 0.18 per cent.

“Markets edged higher as oil futures surged due to the blizzard on the US east coast and investors were encouraged by hints of a potential central bank stimulus in Europe and Japan,” said Shreyash Devalkar, Fund Manager Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.

Tata Steel was the top gainer, up 2.73 per cent, followed by Sun Pharma (up 2.25 per cent).

HDFC Bank surged 0.94 per cent after the company today reported 20.1 per cent growth in net profit at Rs 3,356.8 crore for the third quarter of this fiscal.

Other major gainers were ONGC, Coal India, ICICI Bank and HDFC Ltd.

Brokers said heightened speculation that the US Fed would push back another rate hike for now, having increased the cost of borrowing in December for the first time nearly in a decade, positively impacted shares.

Investors too weighed Moody’s poll finding that external risks facing the Indian economy have risen since last year.

The rebound in stocks came on value-buying too as investors felt that a sell-off which dragged down the Sensex to levels last seen before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party swept to power in May 2014 was overdone, they added.
The metal index advanced the most by surging 1.58 per cent, followed by consumer durables (1.34 per cent), healthcare (0.97 per cent) and realty (0.50 per cent).

Overall, 15 out of the 30-share Sensex pack advanced while others lost.

The broader markets too showed a firm trend, with BSE small-cap index rising by 0.94 per cent and mid-cap 0.24 per cent as investors widened their bets.

Stock exchanges will remain closed tomorrow on account of the Republic Day.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors net sold shares worth Rs 769.83 crore last Friday, as per provisional data.
Globally, the Shanghai Composite index closed 0.75 per cent higher and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng surged 1.36 per cent while Japan’s Nikkei ended up 0.90 per cent.

European markets, however, remained in the negative terrain in the early session.

PTI

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