Markets end higher on rate cut hopes

Markets end higher on rate cut hopes
Highlights

Stock markets continued their forward movement for four day in a row  on Friday on heightened chances of Reserve Bank delivering a policy rate cut sooner than later.

Sensex rises by 40 points to close the trading week at 24,646 points

Mumbai: Stock markets continued their forward movement for four day in a row on Friday on heightened chances of Reserve Bank delivering a policy rate cut sooner than later. Analysts and traders said there is considerable improvement in risk appetite after the government kept its deficit target for the next fiscal at 3.5 per cent of GDP in the Union Budget 2016, providing space for the apex bank to go for monetary policy easing.

Moving sideways throughout, the benchmark BSE Sensex managed to close the session with a gain of about 40 points at a one-month high of 24,646.48 on Friday. The 30-share barometer started on a strong footing before settling higher by 39.49 points, or 0.16 per cent, at 24,646.48, a level last seen on February 1. Intra-day, it slipped into the negative zone and hit a low of 24,531.80.

The gauge had gained 1,604.99 points in the previous three consecutive sessions. The NSE Nifty after recapturing the crucial 7,500-mark closed at 7,485.35, up 9.75 points, or 0.13 per cent. On a weekly basis, the benchmark index rallied 1,492.18 points, or 6.44 per cent, and Nifty zoomed 455.60 points, or 6.48 per cent - their biggest weekly gain in more than four years.

The gains on Sensex were led by BHEL, SBI, Coal India, Tata Motors, Cipla, ONGC, Bajaj Auto, Dr Reddy’s, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, HDFC Ltd, Tata Steel, Infosys, Hero MotoCorp, M&M and Hindustan Unilever. Out of the 30-share Sensex pack, 16 ended higher, while 14 led by Sun Pharma, Asian Paints, Wipro, Maruti Suzuki, L&T, Bharti Airtel, TCS, GAIL, RIL and NTPC succumbed to profit-booking.

IT stocks retreated as a stronger rupee adversely affects their earnings and profit-booking at prevailing attractive higher levels. The BSE metal index jumped the most surging 2.15 per cent, followed by PSU 1.94 per cent, banking 1.28 per cent, power 1.19 per cent, realty 1 per cent and oil & gas 0.40 per cent. In line with the trend, the mid-cap index rose 1.13 per cent and small-cap 0.75 per cent. Stock exchanges will remain closed on Monday on account of Maha Shivratri.

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