Sensex jumps 351 points, snaps 3-day losing streak

Sensex jumps 351 points, snaps 3-day losing streak

The BSE Sensex rose more than 1.5 per cent on Thursday to snap a three-day losing streak as lenders such as ICICI Bank surged on value buying, earnings expectations and hopes of gains in bond portfolios after the central bank's biggest debt auction.

Government bonds jumped on Thursday, recovering from two sessions of falls, after the reserve Bank of India fully sold the Rs 20,000 crore ($3.31 billion) worth of debt on offer.

Investors say Thursday's surge shows the uptrend in Indian equities continues, supported by expectations of a turnaround in the domestic economy and on hopes the Bharatiya Janata Party, India's main opposition which is seen as more business friendly, would come to power.

Foreign flows and January-March earnings will continue to set the direction for the markets as India's five-week long election continues, with voting in Mumbai scheduled for April 24.

Overseas investors sold Indian shares worth Rs 44.69 crore ($7.4 million) on Wednesday, provisional exchange data shows, marking their third consecutive session of outflows.

"India is an island of growth among the emerging markets. India is clearly standing out on macros. The market is reacting positively in the hope of better governance," said Dipak Acharya, equity fund manager at Baroda Pioneer AMC.

The Sensex rose 1.58 per cent, or 351.61 points, to end at 22,628.84, while ending flat for the week.

The Nifty gained 1.56 per cent, or 104.10 points, to end at 6,779.40, marking a weekly gain of 0.05 per cent.

Indian markets will be closed on Friday for the Good Friday holiday and on Thursday, April 24 for elections.

The NSE Bank index surged 1.8 per cent after falling nearly 3 per cent in three straight days of declines, led by a 3.3 per cent gain in ICICI Bank and a 2.3 per cent rise in Axis Bank.

Among state-run banks, State Bank of India gained 3 per cent, while Punjab National Bank rose 2 per cent.

Reliance Industries rose 1.9 per cent a day before its earnings report.

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd gained 1.2 per cent after its CEO said the company expected a further rise in revenue growth in the new financial year.

HCL Technologies gained 0.9 per cent after the company reported better-than-expected net profit for the January-March quarter on the back of increasing demand for outsourcing services.

MindTree Ltd surged 2.3 per cent after the company on Wednesday said its January-March net profit rose 24 per cent to Rs 98.2 crore ($16.3 million).

Piramal Enterprises Ltd ended 1.5 per cent higher after it agreed to buy a 20 per cent stake in unlisted Shriram Capital Ltd for Rs 2014 crore ($334 million), increasing its foothold in the financial services sector.

Shriram Capital is the holding company for the Chennai-based Shriram group, which controls Shriram Transport Finance Co Ltd and Shriram City Union Finance, which ended 3 and 1.4 per cent higher, respectively.

Tata Global Beverages Ltd gained 4.6 per cent after Deutsche Bank started coverage on the company with a 'buy' rating and a target price of Rs 200, calling it a "turnaround story".

Hathway Cable and Datacom Ltd surged 5.7 per cent after broker CLSA started coverage on the stock with a 'buy' rating and a target price of Rs 302.

Among stocks that declined, United Spirits Ltd fell 0.6 per cent on profit-taking, having risen 12.3 per cent in the previous two sessions after Diageo, the world's biggest spirits maker, on Tuesday launched a $1.9 billion bid to nearly double its stake in the company.

Copyright @ Thomson Reuters 2014

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