Sensex rises 135 points; ONGC, Infosys, TCS gain

The BSE benchmark Sensex today closed at nearly two-week high level of 19,635 led by buying in blue-chips stocks such as ONGC, Infosys, TCS and ICICI Bank amid a firming European trend.

The Sensex rose by 134.64 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 19,635.72, highest closing since February 6. Most of the gains were recorded in last 30-minute of trade. The index had gained 33 points in the previous sessions.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty jumped up by 41.50 points, or 0.70 per cent, to 5,939.70.

Brokers said a better trend in Europe, biggest consumer of Indian software and other goods, on positive signals for the economic recovery also influenced the market sentiment.

The market-heavy Infosys rose by 1.53 per cent to Rs 2,819 and refinery major ONGC shot up by 4.03 per cent to Rs 330.25.

The software major Tata Consultancy Services spurted by 1.25 per cent to Rs 1,442.70 while trend-setter Reliance Industries climbed 0.18 per cent to Rs 848.80. All the four stocks carry nearly 23 per cent weightage on the Sensex.

The leading car maker Maruti Suzuki surged 2.19 per cent to Rs 1,512.20, Bajaj Auto by 2.36 per cent to Rs 1,997 and Tata Motors by 0.62 per cent to Rs 306.90.

The realty sector index gained the most by adding 1.90 per cent to 2,118.33 followed by IT index by 1.66 per cent to 6,552.48. Healthcare index rose by 1.38 per cent to 8,009.61 and power index by 1.16 per cent to 1,857.15.

In 30-BSE index components, 23 stocks rose while 8 ended with losses. Bharti Airtel lost 1.94 per cent to Rs 307.75, Coal India 1.35 per cent to Rs 338.80 and Hero MotoCorp by 1.37 per cent to Rs 1,672.65.

Markets @ 09.00 AM (Reuters)

The BSE Sensex falls 0.02 percent, while the 50-share Nifty falls 0.04 percent. Likely candidates for banking licences gain a day after RBI Deputy Governor Anand Sinha told local television news channels the central bank will issue final guidelines on new bank licences before the end of March.

The guidelines had been expected, and dealers say the comments confirm there won't be any significant delays.

Among these candidates, IFCI Ltd shares gain 2.4 percent, Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services Ltd rises 1.8 percent, and Shriram transport Finance Co Ltd is up 1 percent.

However, mobile operators fall after wireless broadband airwave holders were allowed to provide voice services by paying additional fee, a move that is seen benefiting 4G licence holder Reliance Industries Ltd, but leading to more competition in the sector.

Bharti Airtel Ltd shares fall 1.8 percent, Idea Cellular Ltd is down 1.7 percent.

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