Sensex rises 259 points to end at 2-week high

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Benchmark indices extended gains and ended firm for four straight trading sessions supported by strong global cues on upbeat US growth news while buying among rate-sensitive sectors also aided the rally.

The S&P BSE Sensex settled the day at 26,653, up 259 points, while the broader Nity50 closed at 8,225, up 82 points. Broader markets outperformed the benchmark indices. BSE Mid-Cap index gained 1.1%, and the BSE Small-Cap index added 1.3%.

Meanwhile, HSBC maintained "overweight" rating on Indian equities, saying "fundamentals are strong".

"Going forward we believe a short-term oversold rally is due in the market and the market is likely to move up to test next resistance around 8,400 level. Holding above the 8,000 and move above 8,200 level bulls is likely to regain its control back," said Rohit Gadia, Founder & CEO, CapitalVia Global Research.

Among macro economic data, India's gross domestic product (GDP) for the quarter ended September 2016 (Q2) is slated to be released today. Fitch Ratings also lowered India’s GDP growth forecast for this fiscal to 6.9% from 7.4%, saying there will be “temporary disruptions” to economic activity post demonetisation.

In a move aimed at protecting “the innocent farmers and rural account holders of PMJDY (the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana) from activities of money launderers and legal consequences under the Benami Property Transaction & Money Laundering laws”, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has placed a limit of Rs 10,000 on monthly withdrawals from Jan Dhan bank accounts.

On the global front, Asian and European stocks rose as investors awaited the conclusion of a highly-anticipated Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting later in the day. OPEC are set to meet in Vienna, Austria today and market men are awaiting decision regarding an oil production cut.

Oil jumped more than 5% on Wednesday, after the Saudi oil minister said an agreement among OPEC members on cutting output was close, putting the price on course for its biggest one-day move since April.

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US stocks closed higher yesterday with the Nasdaq touching a record, but the market failed to make much headway as oil futures slumped ahead of a key meeting of major crude producers.

Back home, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) – including banks, domestic financial institutions, insurance, new pension scheme and mutual funds – have pumped in net Rs 17,600 crore into the Indian markets during the month till Tuesday—the highest since the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) started maintaining the data since calendar year 2005.

BUZZING STOCKS

Among key stocks, ICICI Bank, Maruti Suzuki, SBI, L&T and ONGC rose between 2%-4%. On the losing side, GAIL, RIL, Coal India, M&M and NTPC were down 0.1%-1%.

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Jubilant Life Sciences, Syngene International, Essel Propack, Shemaroo Entertainment, Bharat Electronics and Power Finance Corporation (PFC) were among 14 stocks from the BSE500 and Smallcap index that hit their respective 52-week highs on the BSE today.

Shares of Amtek Group companies Amtek Auto, Metalyst Forgings and Castex Technologies ended higher by up to 8% on BSE after the board of these companies approved the infusion of fresh capital by investors and restructuring of the debt as proposed by the investors.

IDFC Bank dipped around 4% to Rs 68.35 on the NSE after more than 2% equity of the bank changed hands through block deals.

Sarda Energy & Minerals ended higher by over 6% on the BSE after the restoration of operations at iron ore mine of the company.

Vivimed Labs surged over 8% after the company said its 'Finished Dosage Form' (FDF) manufacturing facility located in Alathur, near Chennai has had a favourable outcome post its US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) inspection.

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