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Sensex, Nifty kickstart 2013 with 0.7% gains on fiscal cliff deal boost

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Sensex, Nifty kickstart 2013 with 0.7% gains on fiscal cliff deal boost

The BSE Sensex rose on Tuesday after the U.S. averted the looming 'fiscal cliff' in a last-minute deal with hopes of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India beginning to gather steam, leading to gains in bank shares.

The benchmark Sensex rose 0.79 per cent, or 154.10 points, to end at 19,580.81 after earlier hitting its highest level intraday since April 27, 2011.

The broader NSE Nifty rose 0.77 per cent, or 45.75 points, to end at 5,950.85.

Analysts say with the New Year Day holidays, U.S. Congress still has time to draw up legislation and backdate it to avoid the harsh fiscal measures including tax hikes and spending cuts, which many fear could cripple the world economy in 2013.

While Indian stocks are expected to remain firm in January tracking expectations of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India, negative local fundamentals, namely twin deficits and sticky inflation, may limit the outperformance in the near term.

"While the macro environment both domestically and globally does not inspire much confidence, at the micro level things are looking good," said Atul Kumar, Senior Fund Manager at Quantum Asset Management Company Pvt. Ltd.

The fiscal deficit is likely to exceed the target set by the government due to higher subsidy burden, which can also turn into a constraint for the RBI to cut rates, added Kumar.

Option traders see the probability of the 50-stock index Nifty inching closer to 6,200 levels in the January derivative series which ends on January 31.

Banking stocks including ICICI Bank rose on expectations of a cut in interest rates by the Reserve Bank of India in January.

ICICI Bank ended up 1.8 per cent, while State Bank of India ended 1.7 per cent higher.

Shares in Indian steel companies including Tata Steel gained on expectations of better realisations as China plans to scrap a 40 per cent export duty on metallurgical coke, a steelmaking raw material, from Tuesday.

Tata Steel gained 2.3 per cent while Jindal Steel and Power ended 3 per cent higher.

Shares in Glenmark Pharmaceuticals gained 1.9 per cent after U.S. health regulators approved Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd's drug to treat diarrhoea in HIV/AIDS patients on qantiretroviral therapy, a combination of medicines used to treat HIV infection.

Aurobindo Pharma Ltd rose 2.14 per cent after it said in a statement that it has got final approvals from U.S. FDA for Rizatriptan Benzoate tablets and the product is ready for launch.

However, among stocks that fell, oil marketing companies fell on fading hopes of a hike in diesel price any time soon, dealers said.

Indian Oil Corp. fell 1.2 per cent while Hindustan Petroleum Corporation ended 0.4 per cent lower.

Copyright @ Thomson Reuters 2012

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