Sensex advances by 140 pts in early trade on bargain hunting

Mumbai, Feb 3 (PTI) The BSE benchmark Sensex advanced by140 points in early trade on bargain hunting in selectcounters on expectation of good economic growth.

Realty, Metal, Tech and Banking sectors were the majorgainers of the early trade.

Bharti Airtel rose for the second day in a row butReliance Communications and Wipro slipped. Most Asian marketswere closed for the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays.

From the Sensex family, DLF shot up by 3.32 per cent,Bharti Airtel by 2.41 per cent, Hero Honda by 2.11 per cent,Hindalco 2.11 per cent, Hindustan Unilever by 1.77 per centand Tata Motors by 1.50 per cent.

The BSE benchmark Sensex resumed higher at 18,113.73 andhovered in a range of 18,236.64 and 18,064.61 before quotingat 18,230.14 at 1015 hrs, showing a net rise of 139.52 pointsor 0.77 per cent from its previous close.

The NSE 50-share Nifty also moved up by 37.10 points or0.68 per cent to 5,469.10 at 1015 hrs from its last close.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said stock markets haveseen volatility over the past few days due to selling pressurefrom foreign institutional investors (FIIs) but the governmentstill expects 8.5 per cent economic growth in the currentfinancial year ending March 2011.

Japan''s Nikkei 225 average slipped 0.32 per cent in earlytrade after sluggish overnight leads from Wall Street andrenewed violence in Egypt stymied demand for riskier assets.

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