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Sensex, Nifty at 2-year high on strong global cues; autos, metals lead rally

LiveMint logoLiveMint 02-03-2017 Nusrin Sultana

Mumbai: Fuelled by a strong global rally, Indian markets are inching close to new highs. Both benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty hit a fresh two-year high on Thursday.

In intraday, the 30-share Sensex gained as much as 0.5% or 148.46 points to 29132.95 points while Nifty rose 0.5% or 43.7 points to 8989.50.

The market is in favour of buyers as 1,397 shares have advanced, 645 shares declined and 88 shares remain unchanged. Prospect of a stable economic growth is driving the upbeat sentiment in Indian markets.

Also read | What explains 7% GDP growth despite Modi’s demonetisation drive?

India’s economy grew at a healthy 7% in December quarter much ahead of China’s 6.8% growth during the same period.

Investors are now focusing on results of the assembly elections on 11 March. The markets are also gearing up for an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve in its two-day meeting on 14-15 March. Hawkish comments from two Federal Reserve officials increased expectations that of interest rates hike.

Among sectors, auto index gained the most (up over 1%), riding on firm February sales data indicating end of demonetisation woes.

Also read| Auto firms fend off demonetisation blues

Metals index, too, continued to rise.

Tata Motors Ltd rose 3.1% after the company reported better-then-expected sales for the February month. Total passenger and commercial vehicle sales, including exports, in February rose to 47,573 units from 46,674 units a year ago period. BHEL, Reliance, Bajaj Auto and ICICI Bank are other gainers on the BSE.

Wockhardt slumped around 7% intraday post its US arm receiving a warning letter from drug regulator, US Food and Drug Administration.

Meanwhile, US markets soared to an all-time high, with Dow Jones Industrial Average closing above 21,000 for the first time, buoyed by President Donald Trump’s speech to Congress on Tuesday. Though his speech lacked tax reform details but was liked for its positive tone. Asian markets are also trading higher following strong US equities. The dollar has touched a seven-week high on expectations of an interest rate hike.

So far this year, Sensex and Nifty gained 9.4% and 9.8%, respectively, while foreign investors have bought $1.56 billion in equities.

At 10.37am, Sensex was trading at 29103.77 points—up 0.41% from previous close while Nifty rose 0.4% to 8981.90 points.

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