The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex gained over 38 points in the opening trade on Thursday, as Foreign Institutional Investors kept pumping money into equity markets after International Monetary Fund said India’s economy would expand by 9.7 per cent in 2010.

The 30-share index rose by 38.21 points, or 0.18 per cent to 20,581.29 points on the back of surge in oil and gas, and metal sector stocks. The index had gained 135.37 points in the previous session.

The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty moved up by 11.35 points, or 0.15 per cent to 6,197.80 points.

Brokers said trading sentiment was bullish after the IMF projected the Indian economy to grow by 9.7 per cent in 2010, propelled by robust industrial production and macro-economic performance.

Besides, a better trend overseas also supported the upside in share prices here, they said.

In Asian markets, the Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.28 per cent, while Japanese Nikkei was down by 0.31 per cent in the morning session. In the U.S., the U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.21 per cent higher yesterday.

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