Bears lose grip as value-buying lifts Sensex 352 points

Sensex falls over 205 points on RBI hawkish stance

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE provisionally closed gaining over 300 points, while the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed firmly above the 10,100 level.

India's NSE index rose the most in more than six months on Thursday, recovering from recent losses, as lenders such as State Bank of India gained on expectation that the government would soon reveal details of a recapitalisation plan. SBI, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, Bank of Baroda and Yes Bank fell by up to 1.44 percent.

Dalal Street saw investors hunting for bargains in recently-battered bank, auto and metal stocks, that came under the weather in the previous session on the back of the central bank's decision to hold repo rates in its sixth bi-monthly monetary policy meeting.

Buying by retail investors and domestic institutions has gathered momentum amid strong global cues.

Top five Sensex gainers were Bharti Airtel (+6.08%), Asian Paints (+3.29%), Maruti (+3.26%), Tata Steel (+2.97%), and Bajaj Auto (+2.78%).

Overseas, the Asian markets saw the shares of most of the companies decline, since investors across the globe have an eye on the final tax legislation in the U.S., where policy uncertainty kept sentiment in check.

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Meanwhile, an RBI order mandating banks to lower the merchant discount rate they charge on debit cards did not affect sentiment. Polls indicate a victory for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but with a greatly reduced majority.

"Today is largely seen as a corrective recovery in the market because it had gone into an oversold territory", said Deven Choksey, promoter, KR Choksey.

"Markets will now look out for the Gujarat election outcome".

Indian stock market extended gains from Thursday, on positive cues from other Asian equities and U.S. markets overnight. It has slipped 4.7 percent from a 10-year peak hit on November 23 as investors booked profits after robust gains this year. Japan's Nikkei fell 1.97 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.63 percent while China's Shanghai Index was down 0.29 percent, extending a retreat across Europe and NY.

In the Eurozone, key indices such as Paris CAC 40 and Frankfurt's DAX Performance Index were up by 0.32% and 0.55% in their early deals.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.29 per cent higher in yesterday's trade.

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