Sensex zooms up by 294.57 pts, ends above 15k

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Mumbai, Mar 24: The Sensex today surged by 294.57 points on the Bombay Stock Exchange to close at 15,289.40 on buying in select pivotals in the session, marked by volatile trading. The benchmark sensitive index touched an intraday high at 15,3531, climbed up 356.48 points from its previous close at 14,994.83 on extended buying in blue-chips and closed with a considerable positive gap in late trade.

The broader based Nifty index jumped to a day's high at 4,549.45, 76.50 points up from previous close of 4,573.95 in the afternoon trade and finally ended up, gaining 35.90 points at 4,609.85. However, the market breadth remained negative throughout the day.

Blue chips edged higher amidst a volatile trading session. After starting the day in positive zone, the benchmark indices had pared gains in afternoon trade. However, Nifty slipped into the red once during the day but recovered smartly in late trade, brokers said.

Mid-cap and small-cap stocks failed to recover from the red till late and further slumped by 2.66 per cent and 3.77 per cent respectively, clearly reflected in the poor market breadth. Banking and IT stocks were in demand, while Metal and power stocks were bady hit today.

Twentytwo out of 30 stocks from the Sensex pack ended the session in green. The BSE today booked a turnover of Rs 4663 crore against Rs 5,796.91 crore in the previous session, marketmen observed.

Reports on Monsoon Capital LLC, a USD 1.20 billion hedge fund firm run by Gautam Prakash, that it has been hit hard due to down-performance of Indian stocks this year also dampened the market sentiments, maketmen said adding that the news may trigger more redemptions from hedge funds with higher exposure to India.

Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei traded in red and China's Shanghai Composite declined further. Earlier in the day, Asian indices were mostly in the green. European markets were closed on account of Easter holiday.

Index heavyweights, Reliance Industries (RIL) rose 1.93 pc to Rs 2200.80, ICICI Bank ended up 4.98 pc to Rs 804.55 and Larsen &Toubro gained 3.46 pc to Rs 2937.20. Housing Development Finance Corporation gained 7.73 pc at Rs 2384.05, Wipro was up 5.88 pc at Rs 398.75, HDFC Bank surged 5.31 pc at Rs 1337.45, Hindustan Unilever was up 4.31 pc at Rs 235 and ACC ended the session 3.76 pc up at 805.15.

However, Tata Steel declined 7.04 pc at Rs 592.45, Reliance Energy slid 4.61 pc at Rs 1150.90, DLF tumbled 4 pc at Rs 598.10, Jaiprakash Associates was down 1.81 pc at Rs 200.30, Maruti Suzuki declined 1.34 pc at Rs 811.70.5).

Nevertheless, most of the banking stocks were in good demand.

Bankex on BSE sectoral index outperformed the Sensex, rose 3.32 pc to 7,744.35. Punjab National Bank pared a gain of 5.58 pc, followed by Centurion Bank of Punjab, up 4.46 pc, Yes Bank surged 4.08 pc, Bank of India moved up 2.83 pc and State Bank of India posted a gain 2.67 pc.

UNI

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