Banking Shares Drive Sensex 122 Points Higher, Nifty Settles Near 9,150

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Sensex rose over 100 points while the broader Nifty was firm above 9,100 level led gains in banking and capital goods shares. However, the gains were capped as select auto shares fell prey to selling pressure after the Supreme Court imposed a ban on sales of Bharat Stage III BS III vehicles starting April 1, 2017. Meanwhile, the Indian rupee strengthened below 65 against the US dollar. It was the first time in over 17 months that the rupee breached 65 to hit intraday high of 64.89.

For the most part of the day, the Sensex and Nifty traded in a narrow band with Sensex moving in a range of 115 points and the Nifty touched high of 9,151.10 and low of 9,109.10.

From the Nifty basket of shares, 31 shares ended higher while 20 closed lower on the.

Bharti Infratel was the top Nifty gainer, the stock rallied nearly 6 per cent to close at Rs. 337 a day after Bharti Airtel sold 10.3 per cent stake in Bharti Infratel to consortium of global private equity firms KKR and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).

Hindalco, Tata Power, Coal India, ITC, Wipro, HDFC, Hindustan Unilever, Reliance Industries, Larsen & Toubro and Ambuja Cements were also among the gainers.

On the other hand, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki and Bosch from the auto space were among the major decliners after the Supreme Court ruled that no Bharat Stage III or BS-III vehicles can be sold in India beyond April 1. The Supreme Court said that even though the number of unsold stock of BS-III is small, commercial interests are not important keeping in view health concerns of the public.

On the sectoral front, the banking sub-index on the NSE- Nifty Bank continued to make new all-time highs. In today’s session the Nifty Bank index touched all-time high of 21,418.60 led by gains in banking heavyweights such as State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Bank of India, Canara Bank, HDFC Bank, Yes Bank, Federal Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank.

The broader markets ended higher with BSE mid-cap index advancing 0.13 per cent and the small-cap index rising 0.3 per cent.

The overall market breadth was negative as 1,667 shares ended lower while 1,188 closed higher on the BSE.