Sensex gains 450 points; bank stocks rise

Mumbai, Oct 18 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets Friday surged 450 points or 2.37 percent, on the back of healthy buying and resolution of US debt ceiling crisis.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 20,486.78 points, closed at 20,882.89 points, up 467.38 points or 2.29 percent from the previous day's close at 20,415.51 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 20,918.98 points and a low of 20,486.78 in intra-day trade.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also made healthy gains. It closed at 6,189.35 points, up 143.50 points or 2.37 percent.

"Markets rose sharply on Friday buoyed by the postponement of the (US) debt ceiling issue and on likely expectations that the (US) Fed will not taper the stimulus programme in its next meeting," Said Dipen Shah of Kotak Securities.

Healthy buying was observed in bank, metal, capital goods, oil and gas, automobile, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), healthcare and information technology (IT) sectors.

The S&P BSE bank index gained 463.05 points, while metal index was up 289.60 points and capital goods index was higher by 247.56 points. Oil and gas index was 178.37 points up, automobile index closed 132.41 points higher, FMCG index was up 125.55 points, healthcare index rose 98.81 points and IT index was up 97.03 points.

The major Sensex gainers were Sesa Sterlite Limited, up 6.05 percent at Rs.195.30; Tata Steel, up 5.92 percent at Rs.328.45; ICICI Bank, up 4.44 percent at Rs.1,009; Larsen and Toubro (L&T), up 4.19 percent at Rs.872.35; and HDFC Bank, up 3.46 percent at Rs.676.40.

Only one of the 30 sensitive companies was a loser in the day's trade. Bajaj Auto was down 0.56 percent or 12.05 points at Rs.2,152.85.

Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 0.17 percent down, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 1.06 percent, and China's Shanghai Composite Index moved higher by 0.24 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was trading 0.43 percent higher, while Germany's DAX Index was up 0.19 percent. The French CAC 40 Index was also up by 0.51 percent.

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