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Sensex scales near 6-month peak, reclaims 37,000 mark in pre-poll rally 

File photo of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai. Photograph:( Reuters )

PTI Mumbai, Maharashtra, India Mar 11, 2019, 06.17 PM (IST)

The BSE benchmark Sensex soared 383 points to reclaim the 37,000 mark on Monday, its highest level in nearly six months, led by gains in RIL, ICICI Bank and Bharti Airtel amid sustained foreign fund inflows and positive global cues.

According to experts, investors widened their portfolios amid hopes of a win for the incumbent NDA government, following the announcement of 2019 general election dates Sunday.

The 30-share Sensex started off on a strong footing and reclaimed the 37,000 mark on widespread buying by investors, and ended at 37,054.10, up by 382.67 points, or 1.04 per cent.

This is the highest closing level since September 19 last year when it had closed at 37,121.22.

The gauge had settled 53.99 points, or 0.15 per cent, lower at 36,671.43 on Friday.

The NSE Nifty, after climbing to 11,172.40 - its highest since September 26 last year - closed at 11,168.05 points, up 132.65 points, or 1.20 per cent.

Power, oil and gas, PSU, metal, banking, auto, capital goods, infrastructure and healthcare sector stocks witnessed heavy buying through the session.

Experts see this as a pre-poll rally following the announcement of 2019 general election dates.

Prevailing geopolitical concerns in the wake of recent India-Pakistan military conflicts will be a key factor in the upcoming general elections that may help incumbent NDA government at the centre, they said.

Lok Sabha elections will begin on April 11 and will be held over seven phases followed by counting of votes on May 23, the Election Commission announced on Sunday.

According to Hemang Jani, Head - Advisory, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas, elections results will be the deciding factor for further upside in the short-term.

Bharti Airtel emerged best performers among Sensex constituents by surging 8.08 per cent, followed by PowerGrid by 3.90 per cent.

Other prominent gainers included Coal India, RIL, Vedanta, Tata Steel, Asian Paint, Hero MotoCorp, SBI, ONGC, Yes Bank, Bajaj Auto, ICICI Bank, M&M, Maruti Suzuki,

Kotak Bank, Sun Pharma, Bajaj Finance, HUL, HDFC, L&T, ITC, Tata Motors, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank, rising up to 3.80 per cent.

However, TCS, HCL Tech, NTPC, IndusInd Bank and Infosys ended in the negative zone with fall of up to 0.41 per cent.

Barring IT, all the BSE sectoral indices ended in the green, with oil and gas index rising 2.85 per cent, metal 2.50 per cent, consumer durables 2.32 per cent, PSU 2.30 per cent, auto 2.24 per cent, power 2.04 per cent, infrastructure 1.75 per cent, healthcare 1.54 per cent, capital goods 1.19 percent, FMCG 1.05 per cent, realty 0.93 per cent, capital goods 0.95 per cent, bankex 0.92 per cent, FMCG 0.74 per cent and teck 0.53 per cent.

The broader markets too displayed a firm trend with the BSE mid-cap index surging 1.96 per cent and the small-caps index rising 1.61 per cent as investors accumulated recently beaten down stocks available at prevailing attractive levels.

Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth Rs 1,095.06 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth Rs 470.7 crore on Friday, provisional data showed.

In afternoon trade, the rupee appreciated 21 paise to 69.93 against the dollar.

A firming trend in the rest of Asia, as Chinese markets rebounded on hopes of more policy support for the slowing economy, and a higher opening in European shares also accelerated buying activity here, traders said.

Shanghai Composite Index rallied 1.92 per cent, Japan's Nikkei gained 0.47 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.99 per cent and Korea's Kospi rose 0.03 per cent.

Among European markets, Frankfurt's DAX rose 0.38 per cent, Paris CAC 40 advanced 0.32 per cent in their early deals, and London's FTSE too gained 0.77 per cent. 

Story highlights

The 30-share Sensex started off on a strong footing and reclaimed the 37,000 mark on widespread buying by investors, and ended at 37,054.10, up by 382.67 points, or 1.04 per cent.