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Sensex returns to pre-demonetization level, jumps 333 points

Stocks came good for the third day as the Sensex on Wednesday returned to its pre-demonetization level by jumping 333 points to end at a nearly 3-month high of 27,708 on the back of strong earnings amid positive global feelers. The NSE Nifty went past the 8,600-mark for the first time since November 1. Covering of pending short positions following the expiry of the January futures and options contracts on Wednesday and positive earnings by some companies aided sentiment. Stock exchanges will be shut tomorrow for the Republic Day.

After a positive start, the 30-share Sensex rose further and settled up 332.56 points, or 1.21%, at 27,708.14 — a level last seen on November 1 when it had closed at 27,876.61. It hit an intra-day high of 27,736.83. The gauge had rallied 341.08 points in the previous two sessions. Also, the 50-issue NSE Nifty ended at 8,602.75, up 126.95 points, or 1.50%, after moving between 8,612.60 and 8,493.95. “Market had come to the pre-demonetization level supported by the ongoing quarterly results which largely survived the expected slowdown. Positive global cues also added excitement in the market rally,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

Banking, metal, auto and consumer durables stocks were in fine nick, lifting the key indices. Mood was aided by optimism ahead of the Union budget on February 1 amid a firming trend in Asia and Europe following overnight record close in the US on hopes of fresh spending by new US President Donald Trump, traders said. The banking index advanced the most by surging 2.33%, followed by consumer durables (2.26%), oil and gas (1.75%), PSU (1.64%) and metal (1.39%). HDFC Ltd emerged as the top gainer in the Sensex kitty, climbing 4.31%, followed by Adani Ports (up 3.61%). HDFC Bank surged 1.56% after the lender on Wednesday reported 15.04% growth in net profit for the December quarter. Maruti Suzuki advanced 1% after 47.46% jump in standalone quarterly net profit. Other biggies that gained were Hero MotoCorp, Axis Bank, Coal India, L&T, ITC Ltd, M&M and SBI. But Bharti Airtel plunged 1.52% on nervous selling after net profit for October-December took a hit of over 54% due to a tariff war.

Overall, 23 advanced and 7 ended in the red. The broader markets showed an uptrend, with BSE mid-cap rising 0.90% and small-cap 0.87%. Foreign portfolio investors net bought shares worth Rs 93.95 crore yesterday, as per provisional data. Japan’s Nikkei ended up 1.43%, with Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng firming up too. Europe traded strong, with Frankfurt, Paris and London’s FTSE rising by up to 1.13% in the late session.