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Bank stocks buoy Sensex

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MUMBAI: Continuing its upward move for the fifth trading session in a row, the benchmark Sensex on Monday spurted by 336 points on robust buying in banking majors ICICI Bank and SBI as well as some key realty and energy stocks.

Positive global cues, emanating from positive trades in European markets and expectations for a firm opening in the U.S., helped keep the sentiment positive on domestic bourses and pushed the Sensex to its highest in nearly two months, the brokers said.

The BSE’s 30-share Sensex settled 336.10 points higher at 15503.92, while the NSE’s 50-share Nifty also gained over two per cent or 90.90 points higher to close at 4620.40.

ICICI Bank and SBI gained between 4-6 per cent, while Jaiprakash Associates and Reliance Infra were the two biggest gainers among the Sensex stocks with a surge of 6-8 per cent. Carmaker Maruti Suzuki also gained over five per cent. The Sensex remained in the positive terrain throughout the trading session and closed near its day’s high of 15520.71, after hitting a low of 15367.97.

In the past five trading sessions, the index has added 926.05 points. The recent slump in crude oil prices, which are hovering near $ 116 a barrel, against a high of above $147 a few weeks ago, is aiding market sentiment, brokers said.

Bank counters were back in the limelight on expectations that a fall in crude oil prices would help contain inflation. Besides, expectations for further reforms in banking space helped boost the buying interest in the sector. — PTI


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