Sensex ends 160 pts higher; ITC spurts 3 per cent

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Mumbai, Apr 12 (PTI) Equity benchmark BSE Sensex ended 160 points higher Friday, led by gains in FMCG, auto and banking stocks ahead of the release of key macroeconomic and earnings data.

After rising over 200 points intra-day, the 30-share index finally settled 160.10 points, or 0.41 per cent, higher at 38,767.11. The broader NSE Nifty rose 46.75 points, or 0.40 per cent, to 11,643.45.

ITC was the biggest gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying 3.14 per cent. Maruti Suzuki, Axis Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Vedanta, Asian Paints, M&M, HUL, Bajaj Auto and PowerGrid were among the other top gainers, rising up to 2.13 per cent.

On the other hand, Bharti Airtel, Bajaj Finance, L&T, Tata Motors, IndusInd Bank, Tata Steel, HCL Tech and ONGC were among the top laggards, shedding up to 1.71 per cent.

IT bellwether Infosys ended 0.63 per cent higher, while rival TCS slipped 0.26 per cent ahead of their quarterly earnings.

According to Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, market turned positive despite a weak rupee as investors remain focused on the upcoming earnings season.

“Banks outperformed as CPI inflation data (to be released later in the day) is expected to be under RBI’s targeted level… Earnings season will give direction to the market while investors are also keen on the ongoing election to gain confidence,” he added.

Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) net bought shares worth Rs 476.51 crore on Thursday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold equities to the tune of Rs 16.58 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed.

Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Japan, China and Korea ended on a mixed note.

In Europe, bourses in Germany, France and UK were trading in the positive terrain in early deals.

The oil benchmark Brent crude futures rose 1.07 per cent to USD 71.59 per barrel.

Meanwhile, the rupee depreciated 28 paise to 69.21 against the US dollar intra-day.

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