Sensex rallies over 300 points, Nifty above 11,500 mark


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Mumbai, Mar 18 (PTI) Domestic equities continued their bull run Monday with the BSE Sensex rising over 300 points and the Nifty reclaiming the 11,500 mark amid unabated foreign fund inflows and narrowing country’s trade deficit.

Besides, positive cues from other Asian markets too bolstered trading sentiment here, traders said.

The 30-share Sensex spurted 326.06 points, or 0.80 per cent, to 38,350.38 in early trade. The gauge had rallied 1,352.89 points points in the previous five sessions.

The broad-based NSE Nifty to rallied 82.15 points, or 0.72 per cent, to 11,509.

Major gainers that supported the rally were PowerGrid, Kotak Bank, HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries, Axis bank, Bharti Airtel, Asian Paint, M&M, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance, Asian Paint, Yes Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC, ITC, Tata Steel, SBI, ONGC and Bajaj Auto, rising up to 2.57 per cent.

Shares of Maruti, on the other hand were the biggest losers, cracking up to 3.42 per cent.

Barring auto and healthcare, all the sectoral indices on BSE, led by oil and gas, PSU, realty, power, bankex, IT and FMCG, were trading in the green.

According to experts, narrowing trade deficit and sustained foreign fund inflows buoyed investor sentiment.

The marginal 2.44 per cent increase in exports as well as lower imports of gold and petroleum products in February significantly narrowed the country’s trade deficit to USD 9.6 billion, data released by the commerce ministry Friday showed.

India’s merchandise exports rose to USD 26.67 billion in February from USD 26.03 per cent in the year-ago month mainly on account of higher shipments in sectors such as pharmaceutical, engineering and electronics.

On a net basis, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net of Rs 4,323.49 crore on Thursday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net sellers to the tune of Rs 2,130.36 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed.

A firm trend in other Asian markets and overnight gains on Wall street also boosted trading sentiments here.

Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.67 per cent, Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.27 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.74 per cent in their late morning deals.

On Wall Street, the US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.54 per cent higher in Friday’s trade.

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