The S&P BSE benchmark sensex rallied by 369 points in the late morning after exit polls predicted a strong showing by the BJP in recently-concluded Assembly elections in four states.

Shares of Banking, Capital Goods, Realty, Refinery, PSU, Power and Metal sectors firmed up sharply on fresh buying support.

The sensex resumed higher at 20,992.25 and crossed 21K level immediately before quoting at 21,078.16 at 1030hrs, showing a sharp gain of 369.45 points or 1.78 per cent from its last close.

The NSE 50-share Nifty also rose by 116.80 points or 1.90 per cent to 6,277.75 at 1030hrs.

Major gainers were Icici Bank 6.01 pct followed by HDFC Bank 4.29 pct, Larsen 3.69 pct, HDFC 2.63 pct, BHEL 2.59 pct, Maruti Suzuki 2.36, Jindal Steel 2.35 pct, SBI 2.10 pct, Gail 2.05 pct and Reliance Ind 1.83 pct.

Asian stocks declined in their early trade after strong US economic data raised uncertainty among investors over when the Federal Reserve may taper its stimulus programme. Key benchmark indices in Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, China and Taiwan shed 0.12 pct to 1.15 pct.

US stocks fell for the fourth day yesterday, the longest slump in 10 weeks for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as investors weighed economic data for clues on the timing of Federal Reserve stimulus cuts amid optimism over a budget deal.

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