Sensex gains 88 points in opening trade

Mumbai, Jan 24 (PTI) The Sensex gained over 88 points inopening trade on the Bombay Stock Exchange today, led byencouraging third quarter earnings posted by State Bank ofIndia amid a firming trend on other Asian bourses.

The Sensex, which had lost 39.01 points in the previoussession on Friday, rose by 88.16 points to 19,095.69 today,with banking, realty and consumer durables stocks attractingthe most interest.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange Niftyindex moved up by 28 points to 5,724.5 points in the first fewminutes of trade.

Funds and retail investors indulged in selective buyingafter the country''s largest lender, State Bank of India,reported a 13.45 per cent rise in consolidated net profit toRs 3,806.49 crore for the third quarter ended December 31,marketmen said.

Stocks of State Bank of India were trading 2.77 per centhigher at Rs 2,670 in opening trade.

However, despite the Sensex bouncing back from its weakclose last week, fears of a rate hike at the Reserve Bank ofIndia''s monetary policy review tomorrow cast a shadow over thetrading sentiment, limiting the gains, they said.

A firming trend on other Asian bourses in early tradetoday also influenced the trading sentiment, market analystsadded.

In the Asian region, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng was up 0.05per cent, while Japan''s Nikkei was up 0.43 per cent in earlytrade today.

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