Stock market on Friday managed modest gains with a 59-point upward move in the benchmark Sensex, helped by good buying in heavyweights like Reliance Industries and Bharti Airtel, as also positive global cues.

The Bombay Stock Exchange’s 30-share barometer rose 58.97 points, or 0.34 per cent, to settle at its two month peak of 17,578.23 points, the highest closing level since January 18.

On a weekly basis, the Sensex extended gains for the sixth consecutive week, on the back of continued buying momentum since early February.

The National Stock Exchange’s 50-share Nifty settled with a net rise of 0.32 per cent at 5,262.80 points.

“The long term view on the market is bullish. In absence of any concrete domestic trigger, shares will continue to edge up. Market is waiting for the March quarter results to decide the next course,” SMC Global CMD Subhas Chand Agarwal said.

The market witnessed volatile trading in the early part of the day, but heavy buying by foreign funds in the last hour helped it clock a 0.34 per cent gain.

Reliance Industries, which has the maximum weight among the Sensex firms, rose 1.37 per cent to Rs 1,089.80. Among the heavyweights, Bharti Airtel led the gain with a four per cent rally, followed by Reliance Communications and Hero Honda.

Analysts said India’s outlook upgrade by rating agency Standard & Poor’s would help reduce corporate borrowing cost and in turn support equities.

“The rating by S&P gave a positive boost to the market.

Although market is failing to hold on to the gains at higher levels, it will continue to move up till the first half of April,” Agarwal said.

Foreign funds have been net buyers to the tune of nearly USD 3 billion in the Indian market so far this month, although most of the funds have been routed through the primary market, which saw the big ticket divestment of state-run NMDC.

“FIIs will continue to put in money in the Indian shares.

But the flow will somewhat be lessened till the end of March as it is the corporate year ending. This will also limit the gains in the market,” said an analyst at a broking house.

Consumer goods and oil & gas shares lead the gains in the market, whereas realty and IT stocks faced selling pressure.

Among the bluechip stocks, Reliance Communications rose 1.98 cent, Hero Honda climbed 1.76 per cent, SBI jumped 1.42 per cent and HUL rose 1.40 per cent.

Keywords: SensexNiftyBSENSE

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