Sensex gains nearly 30 pts on select buying

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Mumbai, Feb 7 (PTI) The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmarkindex Sensex closed nearly 30 points higher on select buyingby funds even as late profit booking eroded early gains aftera better economic forecast.

The 30-share index rose by 29.04 points to close at18,037.19 points. It touched an intra-high of 18,135.02 withrealty, auto, and oil and gas stocks leading the recovery.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty endeda shade higher at 5,396.00 points, up by 0.25 point, aftermoving between 5,440.35 and 5,376.95.

Market sentiment improved after the government estimatedeconomic growth for the current financial year at 8.6 per centagainst that of 8 per cent a year ago.

However, late selling by funds as well as retailinvestors, mostly of a profit-booking nature, trimmed earlygains at several counters, brokers said.

Stocks of metal sector were in good demand largely intandem with rising base metal prices at the London MetalExchange on hopes that the economic recovery would boostdemand outlook for the metals.

The metal sector index rose by 11.16 points to 16,195.90points as shares of Tata Steel, Jindal Saw and SterliteIndustries recorded handsome to moderate gains.

The IT sector index gained 11.52 per cent to 6270.02 asthe segment major Infosys rose by Rs 42.70 to Rs 3,089.05.

The Oil and gas sector index ended 71.32 points higherat 9,494.41 points after Reliance Industries surged over 1 percent to Rs 929.30 while ONGC edged up by Rs 3.55 to Rs1,193.85.

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