Sensex Rises For Third Day As Ukraine Concerns Ease

( – Indian shares rose for a third consecutive session on growing hopes that the Modi government will push its reform agenda when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley unveils his first full-year budget later this month.

Global cues were mixed, with the other Asian markets closing mixed amid concerns over ongoing Greek debt negotiations after an emergency meeting between Greece and its European creditors to make progress on a new bailout deal ended without agreement late Wednesday.

European stocks were notably higher in early trading after Russia agreed for a cease-fire with Ukraine starting February 15.

Closer home, the benchmark BSE Sensex ended the day up 271.13 points or 0.95 percent at 28,805.10, aided by a late buying surge after Russian President Vladimir Putin said a Ukraine ceasefire deal had been reached in Minsk.

The broader CNX Nifty index jumped 84.15 points or 0.98 percent to close at 8,711.55. The Indian rupee was a tad lower in the afternoon as caution prevailed ahead of industrial production and retail inflation data due out later in the day.

Two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp advanced 1.9 percent after launching a new version of HF Dawn. Carmaker Maruti Suzuki rallied 2.5 percent and Tata Motors rose 0.6 percent.

Mahindra & Mahindra ended marginally higher on reports it is making a big-bang entry into the defense sector, with the acquisition of a majority stake in Pipavav Defense, India’s largest private shipyard. Shares of Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering soared 5.3 percent.

Reliance Infrastructure climbed 4.2 percent on news it is foraying into the defense manufacturing sector. Reliance Power advanced 2.3 percent after it inked a pact to develop 6,000 MW of solar power projects in Rajasthan.

Hindalco Industries rose 2 percent on reporting a 7.5 percent increase in Q3 profit, aided by higher volumes and realizations in aluminium and copper business. IL&FS Engineering was locked at the 20 percent upper circuit limit and Indiabulls Real Estate rallied 5 percent on robust quarterly results.

Pharma stocks saw broad-based buying, with Lupin, Cipla and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories rising 3-5 percent. Wipro gained a percent after the country’s third-largest software company formed a strategic partnership with two American companies to serve some 500 LNG companies globally.

ONGC erased early losses to end 0.4 percent higher on reports that it will have to pay a fuel subsidy of Rs 8,700 crore for the December quarter.

ICICI Bank gained 1.4 percent. The country’s largest private sector bank said it has acquired 32 million shares or 15.31 percent of the total diluted capital of Deccan Chronicle Holdings. HDFC Bank rose 1.8 percent and Axis Bank added 1.7 percent, while SBI shed 0.6 percent.

Bank of India shares tumbled 5.8 percent. The state-run lender reported a sharp 70 percent year-over-year decline in its net profit for the third quarter ended December as bad loans jumped.

Bata India fell 3 percent after its fourth-quarter profit declined 34 percent from a year earlier.

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