Sensex up over 300 points; RIL hits 2-year high

Benchmark shares indices extended gains in late morning trade led by index heavyweight Reliance Industries while banks firmed up on hopes that the Reserve Bank of India may ease key policy rates at its meeting early next month.

At 12pm, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 337 points at 28,750 and the Nifty50 gained 96 points at 8,839. In the broader market, the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices were up 1.1%-1.3% each. Market breadth was positive with 1589 gainers and 504 losers on the BSE.

On the economic front, India’s trade deficit declined sharply in August 2016, data showed yesterday, 15 September 2016. Trade deficit fell 38.1% to $7.67 billion in August 2016 from $12.39 billion in August 2015. Exports fell 0.3% to $21.52 billion in August 2016 over August 2015. Imports fell 14.09% to $29.19 billion in August 2016 over August 2015.

Meanwhile, reports suggest that the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is undertaking a quarterly performance review of state-run banks later today.

Foreign institutional investors turned buyers with net purchases of Rs 345 crore on Thursday, as per provisional stock exchange data.

Reliance Industries was up 2.7%. The stock hit a 27-month high of Rs 1091.40 in intra-day trade today. Mukesh Ambani, chairman of RIL on September 01 announced the launch of Reliance Jio from September 05 with an aggressive pricing structure. Reliance Jio Infocomm is a subsidiary of RIL.

The banking pack was led by private lenders with Axis Bank rising over 3% followed by ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank.

In the auto pack, two-wheeler majors Bajaj Auto and Hero MotoCorp were up nearly 3% each while Tata Motors, M&M and Maruti Suzuki were up over 1%-2.5% each.

Other gainers include, ITC, L&T and ONGC among others.

Mortgage lender HDFC and IT major TCS were trading with marginal losses.

Among other shares, Nava Bharat Ventures has rallied 12% to Rs 127 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in intra-day trade after Reliance Mutual Fund (MF) bought more than 4% stake in the electric utilities company for Rs 44 crore through open market.

Den Networks has rallied 10% to Rs 80 on the BSE in early morning trade after the company said its board will meet on Tuesday, September 20 to consider a preferential issue to one of the leading global financial investors.

State-owned oil marketing companies gained on the back of increase in petrol prices. Petrol price was hiked by 58 paisa a litre while diesel rate was cut by 31 paisa per litre. HPCL was up 1.8%, Bharat Petroleum was up 1.4% while Indian Oil Corporation gained 1.9%.