On hopes of a delay in U.S. winding down of its stimulus programme, stock markets surged on Thursday as the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex closed above the 19900-mark, and the broader indices gained sharply above 2 per cent. The rupee, too, rebounded above the 62-mark against the dollar in a buoyant foreign exchange market.

The expectation of a prolonged shut-down by the U.S. Government helped the rupee close stronger against the dollar at 61.73 as compared to the previous close of 62.46.

The Sensex shot up by 384.92 points or 1.97 per cent to close at 19902.07.

The rupee appreciated by a further 73 paise to close at an almost seven-week high of 61.73 against the dollar as the U.S. currency weakened globally following the budget impasse in Washington and fears of the Fed tapering its stimulus programme receded. Dollar sales by exporters and firm local equities also supported the local currency.

The rupee opened at 62.15 from the previous close of 62.46 at the inter-bank foreign exchange market and touched a low of 62.22. It bounced back to a high of 61.65 before settling at 61.73, a rise of 73 paise or 1.17 per cent.

Metal stocks lead rally

On the BSE, metal stocks led the rally with 3.94 per cent rise followed by banks (3.41 per cent), capital goods (2.82 per cent), oil & gas (2.46 per cent) and information technology (2.39 per cent). Except fast moving consumer goods stocks, which lost by 0.88 per cent, all other sectoral indices ended in the positive territory.

The 50-share Nifty of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5909.70 with a gain of 129.65 points.

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