Reforms hopes back to the fore, lift Sensex 142 points

The government's renewed push for reforms gave the benchmark BSE Sensex a leg-up, which for the second straight day kept up its tempo and ended the session higher by 142 points at 27,705.35.

Mumbai: The government's renewed push for reforms gave the benchmark BSE Sensex a leg-up, which for the second straight day kept up its tempo and ended the session higher by 142 points at 27,705.35.

A gentle uptick in rollover of July F&O positions proved to be a feel-good factor, too.

The Cabinet has approved incorporation of changes in the GST Bill as suggested by the Rajya Sabha select committee, boosting hopes of its passage in the Upper House of Parliament during the monsoon session.

The overall market mood moved one notch higher after the US Fed kept its benchmark rate unchanged at its policy review that concluded on Wednesday.

Some strong quarterly numbers from blue-chips only added to the momentum.

The rally was supported by short-covering by speculators in view of the last day of July futures and options contracts.

Intense buying by funds lifted the Sensex to intra-day high of 27,854.46, which finally closed higher 141.92 points, or 0.51 percent, at 27,705.35.

ITC climbed 3.90 percent after the company posted 3.61 percent rise in net profit at Rs 2,265.44 crore for the June quarter.

The 50-share NSE Nifty reclaimed its crucial 8,400-mark, hitting a high of 8,458.90. It ended at 8,421.80, up 46.75 points, or 0.56 percent.

From the Sensex pack, Dr Reddy's (up 5.23 percent) stole the show while Cipla, HUL, HDFC, BHEL and SBI were other notable gainers.

Sector-wise, the BSE realty index took the lead in gains, surging 3.48 percent, after a committee tabled its report on the Real Estate Bill in the Rajya Sabha. FMCG, power, PSU and healthcare advanced, too.

Broader markets small-cap and mid-cap registered gains of 0.90 percent and 0.79 percent, respectively.

On the global front, Asian markets ended mixed while European markets were higher in their early trade.

"Sentiment turned cheerful on US Fed not hiking the interest rate in its meet last night. Furthermore, there were renewed hopes that the GST Bill can pass in this monsoon session of Parliament," said Gaurav Jain, Director of Hem Securities.

In the 30-share index, 19 signed off in the positive zone. Key losers included Sun Pharma (1.89 percent), followed by Hindalco, Infosys, TCS and Tata Steel.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors net sold shares worth Rs 186.24 crore yesterday, as per provisional data from stock exchanges.

The market breadth continued to be positive as 1,746 stocks ended in the green, 1,117 finished in the red while 107 went steady.

The total turnover firmed up to Rs 3,359.07 crore, from Rs 3,348.48 crore yesterday.

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