Sensex rises to record after ECB stimulus programme

MUMBAI (Reuters) – The BSE Sensex and Nifty rose to a record high for a fourth consecutive session on Friday as blue chips such as Larsen & Toubro(LART.NS) advanced on hopes of additional foreign investments after the European Central Bank launched a landmark bond-buying stimulus programme.

The ECB said it would purchase sovereign debt from this March until the end of September 2016, despite opposition from Germany’s Bundesbank and concerns in Berlin that it could allow spendthrift countries to slacken economic reforms.

Overseas investors have bought Indian shares worth $ 966.27 million so far this year, exchange and regulatory data showed. Foreign investors bought shares worth $ 16.12 billion in 2014, according to data.

Sentiment was also bolstered after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday that India will not stray from a plan to slash its fiscal deficit to 3 percent of gross domestic product within two years.

“The undercurrent is firm. Even though valuations are higher, we could see buyers at every level. We are cautiously optimistic on the market and expect Nifty to touch the 9,000-mark in the near-term,” said Suresh Parmar, head, institutional equities at KJMC Capital Markets.

The benchmark BSE Sensex was up 0.74 percent at 29,219.69, after gaining as much as 1.38 percent to a record high of 29,408.73 earlier in the day.

The broader Nifty was higher 0.61 percent at 8,813.95, after hitting an all-time high of 8,866.40 earlier in the session.

Blue-chip stocks gained. Larsen & Toubro rose 2.4 percent, State Bank of India added 1.2 percent and Tata Motors (TAMO.NS) advanced 2.2 percent.

($ 1 = 61.5500 rupees)

(Reporting by Indulal PM; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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