Metal, banking stocks attract buying support

MUMBAI: Shrugging off initial losses, the stock markets continued their upward march on Thursday and the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex garnered another 69 points on selective buying. Metal counters attracted heavy buying support as some of the steel companies hiked their product prices and firm London Metal Exchange (LME) advices further boosted sentiment.

Banking stocks also attracted renewed buying support.

Many market players preferred to sit on the fence and decided to play safe ahead of a long weekend as stock markets will remain closed on Friday on account of ``Good Friday'', dealers said.

Shares from Sensex group such as SBI, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, HDFC, Tata Motors, Maruti, Grasim, ACC, Tata Steel and REL notched handsome gains at close, contributing to the rise immensely, they added.

The BSE 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) fluctuated in a range of 12899.31 and 12711.50 points before ending the day at 12856.08, a net rise of 69.31 points over Wednesday's close of 12786.77.

The S&P CNX Nifty also improved further by 18.75 points to 3752.00 from the previous close of 3733.25. PTI