Sensex recovers on higher Q3 earnings by banks; up 144 pts

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Mumbai, Jan 24 (PTI) In volatile trade, the BSE benchmarkSensex today recovered about 144 points to close at 19,151.28,led by banking stock after SBI and ICICI posted attractivequarterly earnings, but sentiment remained jittery ahead ofRBI monetary policy and mixed Asian cues.

The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex, which hadlost 39.01 points in the previous session, rose by 143.75points to 19,151.28 with stocks in banking, realty andconsumer durable sector led the upsurge.

In choppy movements, the gauge moved between 19,193.46and 18,998.38 points, as every rise was encashed by investors,fearing the Reserve Bank of India might hike key policy ratesin monetary review tomorrow to curb surging inflation.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange indexNifty, moved up by 46.75 points to 5,743.25, after movingbetween 5,756 and 5,697.75.

Marketmen said there was selective buying by funds andretail investors, in view of handsome Q3 profits that havebeen announced by the country''s largest lender State Bank ofIndia and private largest lender ICICI Bank.

They said some investors adopted cautious approach beforethe RBI meeting against the backdrop of high inflation, whichhas led to cautious approach by investors, capping the gains.

The banking sector index gained the most by 2.40 per centto 12,645.88 as SBI spurted by Rs 95.15 to Rs 2,693.10 onhigher quarter earnings, and forecast of 20-22 per cent loangrowth in fiscal 2012 due to strong credit demand. ICICI Bankalso shot up by Rs 18.05 to Rs 1,083.90.

The consumer durable index was second best performer,rising 1.93 per cent to 6,171.12, followed by PSU index by1.20 per cent to 8,897.98. The realty sector index rose by0.91 per cent to 2,517.59.

The upsurge in the market was checked to some extent asheavy-weight on the index, Reliance Industries, fell by Rs15.45 to Rs 9,71.05 as the quarter earnings reported by thecompany was short of the investors expectation.

As investors looked for low-valuation attractive scrips,the midcap index rose by 0.84 per cent to 7,252.35 andsmallcap index by 0.79 per cent to 10,002.10.

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