Sensex rises most in 9-mths; up 473 pts on easing inflation

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Mumbai, Feb 14 (PTI)The BSE benchmark Sensex today surgedover 473 points to 18,202.20, biggest single day gain in ninemonths, as easing inflation and end of turmoil in Egyptencouraged investors to buy fundamentally sound stocks thatwere recently beaten down on poor sentiment.

The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index Sensex, whichdipped to 7-month low in the previous few days, bounced backfor the second session by surging 473.59 points to 18,202.20,after touching the day''s high of 18,227.62.

Sensex has lost 14 per cent from the record level onNovember 5, as high inflation and increasing central bankrates pushed up borrowing costs for industry as well as theconsumer.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Niftyzoomed up 146 points to 5,456 and touched intra-day high of5,463.80.

The gauge recorded a biggest single session rise afterMay 10, as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned, easingconcern about high oil prices that stoke overall inflation.

Meanwhile, inflation declined marginally to 8.23 per centin January from 8.43 per cent in the previous month, as pricesof certain commodities like wheat, pulses and sugar eased,although essential items like onion and other vegetablesremained costly.

Brokers said the market was in the over-sold mode and thecurrent rise forced speculators to square up their pendinglong positions. They said easing tension in the Middle-Eastalso kept the global markets higher.

The Asian stocks advanced, rebounding from the biggestweekly decline since August, after Japan�s economy shrank lessthan estimated. European markets also opened higher.

The rally was supported by stocks of Tata Motors, HeroHonda, Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Auto, BHEL, Larsen and Toubro,Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, State Bank of India, HDFCBank, ICICI Bank, Tata Steel and Tata Power.

The capital goods, auto and metal sector stocks remainedon the fore-front on expectations that easing inflation wouldbolster growth and raise demand for the infrastructure.

The most-heaviest on the Sensex, Reliance Industries roseRs 4.60 to Rs 915.20 and second heaviest Infosys Technologiesby Rs 63.95 to Rs 3,104.55. The two carry nearly 23 per centweightage on the index.

As the buying activity spilled over a wide-front,smallcap sector index rose by 3.94 per cent to 8,116.62 andmidcap index by 3.52 per cent to 6,703.82.

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