Sensex closes up 174 points, Nifty rises 0.44% on optimism over Union budget

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Mumbai,BSE Sensex rose for a fourth consecutive session, helped by a rally in financial firms and optimism ahead of the annual Union budget next week, with the broader NSE index poised to post its biggest weekly gain in eight months. Recent corporate results have been better than expected, analysts said, while investors are also anticipating giveaways and incentives to help nurse an economy hit by the shock ban on higher-value banknotes late last year. “Results (at financial firms) have positively surprised the markets so far,” said Ankit Agarwal, fund manager and senior vice president at Centrum Wealth Management Ltd.

“The negative impact of demonetisation was probably not as bad as it was initially thought.” It has risen 3.75% so far this week despite markets being shut for a public holiday on Thursday. The index is set to post its best weekly gain since 27 May 2016. The benchmark BSE Sensex was 0.8% higher at 27,939.59, and was headed for a 3.4% increase on the week. Financial stocks led by Axis Bank, Housing Development Financial Corp and HDFC Bank contributed around 50% to the gains on the NSE index on Friday. Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda and ICICI Bank were up as much as more than 3%.

3.30pm: BSE Sensex closed higher by 174 points, or 0.63%, to 27,882, while the Nifty 50 rose 39 points, or 0.45%, to 8,641.

3.04pm: ITC shares decline 2.85% to trade at Rs257.30 against the previous session’s closing of Rs264.85.

2.59pm: BSE Sensex trades higher by 165 points, or 0.59%, to 27,873, while the Nifty 50 rises 37 points, or 0.44%, to 8,641.

2.04pm: BSE Sensex trades higher by 240 points, or 0.87%, to 27,948, while the Nifty 50 rises 57 points, or 0.66%, to 8,660.

1.08pm: BSE Sensex trades higher by 187 points, or 0.67%, to 27,895, while the Nifty 50 rises 41 points, or 0.48%, to 8,644. The BSE finance index rises 1.29% while the BSE bankex index rises 1.47%.

1.05pm: ITC Ltd fall 2% to Rs259 ahead of its December quarter earnings. According to 19 Bloomberg analyst estimates, the company may post net profit of Rs2,563.80 crore while net sales will be at Rs9,230.80 crore.

12.11pm: BSE Sensex trades higher by 244 points, or 0.88%, to 27,952, while the Nifty 50 rises 65 points, or 0.76%, to 8,668.

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