Sensex hits 3-month high; rises 232 points ahead of RBI meet

Sensex hits 3-month high; rises 232 points ahead of RBI meet Mumbai: The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex Thursday jumped 232 points to close at 3-month high level of 19,735.77 and NSE Nifty breached 6,000-level in early trade as rate- sensitive banking and realty stocks notched up smart gains on hopes of rate cut by RBI in its annual policy on Friday.

The NSE 50-share Nifty breached 6,000-level after more than three months in early trade before finishing at 5,999.35, showing a gain of 69.15 points, or 1.17 percent.

IT, Teck and capital goods stocks also ended sharply upon good buying support from foreign funds, helping Sensex to extend gains for the third day in a row.

The bellwether index has gained 449.05 points in the last three days of trade.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its monetary policy 2013-14 is widely expected to cut interest rates by at least 0.25 percent.

State Bank of India rose by 1.55 percent, while HDFC Bank gained 1.47 percent.

Software exporter TCS at 3.84 percent was the biggest gainer of the day, followed by M&M at 3.48 percent, L&T at 2.64 percent and Infosys at 2.35 percent.

HDFC, NTPC, Sun Pharma, ITC and Wipro all gained over 1 percent.

Bharti Airtel which reported nearly 50 percent decline in its consolidated net profit, ended lower by 0.64 percent.

However, Hero Motocorp dropped by 1.96 percent followed by HUL 1.93 percent.

Among the sectoral indices, BSE-IT rose by 2.55 percent, BSE-Teck 2.07 percent, S&P BSE-Capital Goods 1.59 percent, S&P BSE-Realty 1.48 percent, S&P BSE-Bankex 1.17 percent and S&P BSE-Power 1.06 percent.

The total market breadth turned positive as 1,271 stocks ended in green while 1,117 stocks finished in red. The total turnover dropped to Rs 2,108.92 crore from Rs 4,313.93 crore on Tuesday.

FIIS bought shares worth a net Rs 876.93 crore on Tuesday as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.

Meanwhile, Asian shares ended mixed, weighed by a fall in US equities overnight and caution before the European Central Bank's interest rate decision later in the session.

Key benchmark indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea fell by 0.17 percent to 0.76 pct while indices in Taiwan and Singapore rose by 0.43 percent to 1.20 percent.

European stock markets showed mixed trend in their early trade as investors await a European Central Bank meeting, with expectations for an interest rate cut. Key benchmark indices in France and the UK were down by 0.13 percent to 0.25 percent while Germany's DAX was quoted higher by 0.34 percent.

Turning the local market, 18 scrips out of the 30-share Sensex ended higher while 12 others finished lower.

PTI