Buoyed by promising first quarter results from India Inc, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex today rose by 93 points, with realty and banking stocks leading the gains amid a positive trend in Asia and Europe.

Boosted by strong June quarter numbers from Tata Steel and SBI, the 30—share index put concerns over rising food inflation and a slowdown in industrial output behind it to settle higher by 93.13 points or 0.52 per cent, at 18,167.03.

The Sensex touched a high of 18,260.39 at mid—session.

Analysts said any significant rally in the Sensex was thwarted by cagey investors, who booked profits after every rise.

On a weekly basis, the Sensex recorded an increase of 0.12 per cent, extending gains for the second consecutive week.

The National Stock Exchange’s wide—based Nifty index, too, increased by 0.66 per cent to 5,452.10 points.

“The market sentiment is upbeat on smart performance by some big corporate houses and persistent inflow of foreign funds,” Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance CIO Sudhakar Shanbhag said.

He, however, added that an interim correction cannot be ruled out in the coming session as the Indian market is trading at a very high level.

After the Sensex opened on a strong note, the sentiment further accelerated in the afternoon session, after European markets opened on a higher note, cheering robust growth in the eurozone gross domestic product. However, European bourses later swung into the red at mid—session.

Continuing its rally for the second session in a row, SBI shares jumped 2.35 per cent to a fresh record high of 2,879.95 points in the wake of yesterday’s announcement of 25 per cent growth in June quarter profit of the country’s largest lender.

“SBI numbers were well above our, as well as the Street’s, estimate. The out—performance can be traced to a higher—than-expected top-line and a write back of excess wage hike provision,” according to brokerage house Sharekhan.

Other banking stocks also attracted purchasing. ICICI Bank rose 1.19 per cent, HDFC Bank 0.58 per cent and HDFC 0.24 per cent.

Snapping its seven-day-long losing streak, the country’s most valued entity, Reliance Industries, which has the maximum weightage in the Sensex, ended with a gain of 0.70 per cent at Rs 979.05.

Tata Steel climbed 1.39 per cent, a day after it reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 1,790.19 crore for the April— June quarter of the fiscal. The company had suffered a loss of Rs 2,238.53 crore in the corresponding period a year ago

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