Sensex Rises For Second Day On Reform Bets

( – The Indian markets rose for a second consecutive session on Wednesday, aided by gains in banking, capital goods, healthcare, metal and power stocks.

The BJP government had come to power with a mandate of governance and development. After its humiliation in Delhi Assembly elections, investors now bet that the Modi government will accelerate the pace of economic reforms to spur economic growth and consolidate power in both houses of Parliament.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will unveil his first full-year budget later this month, with expectations running high for more reform measures and policy initiatives to boost investor confidence and revive growth.

The benchmark BSE Sensex ended the session up 178.35 points or 0.63 percent at 28,533.97, while the broader CNX Nifty index closed up 61.85 points or 0.72 percent at 8,627.40. Second-line stocks rallied, with the mid-cap and small-cap indexes on the BSE closing up 1.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

ICICI Bank rose 1.2 percent as the private sector lender launched ‘Pockets’, a digital banking service that offers a slew of new-age services. Bank of Baroda, Bank of India and Axis Bank gained 2-3 percent. Syndicate Bank climbed over 10 percent after announcing its Q3 results.

Larsen & Toubro advanced 2.3 percent, Bharat Electronics rallied 5 percent and Rolta India soared 6.4 percent on reports a consortium of the companies is set to receive a defense contract worth Rs 40,000-50-000 crore. Power stocks also witnessed strong buying interest, with Adani Power, CESC and GMR Infrastructure climbing 6-8 percent.

IT stocks closed mostly higher, with TCS gaining 0.8 percent after the country’s largest IT services firm said it is sticking to its hiring target of 35,000 from campuses for FY16. Infosys rose 0.4 percent and HCL Technologies advanced 1.3 percent. Sun Pharma rose 0.6 percent after its subsidiary Taro Pharmaceuticals reported strong Q3 results.

Asian Paints rallied 2.5 percent after acquiring a majority stake in Kadisco for a consideration of $ 18.95 million in cash. Capital First jumped 6 percent, Ricoh India soared 20 percent and JK Paper climbed 7 percent on robust Q3 results.

NCC soared 20 percent as the construction firm beat street expectations with an over five-fold jump in consolidated net profit for the third quarter ended December.

Sugar stocks rallied on reports that the government is considering giving export incentives for 1.4 million tons (MT) of raw sugar in order to help the cash-starved industry clear sugarcane arrears to farmers. Balarampur Chini Mills, Bajaj Hindusthan and Shree Renuka Sugars rose 2-3 percent.

Oil explorer Cairn India dropped 1.1 percent, Oil India edged down marginally and ONGC fell 2.7 percent on falling oil prices after the International Energy Agency said it expects crude prices to average $ 55 per barrel throughout 2015.

Jaiprakash Associates shed 1.9 percent on dismal Q3 results, with net loss widening to Rs 116.09 crore from 88.71 crore in the year-ago period.

On the global front, the Asian markets rose broadly in holiday-thinned trade amid a national holiday in Japan and the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays.

European stocks drifted lower in early trading ahead of an emergency meeting of Eurozone finance ministers in Brussels later today, where Greek officials will present their concrete proposals for a new austerity-free economic deal with EU creditors.

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