Sensex spurts to new closing high; Reliance rallies over 4 pc

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Mumbai, Feb 11 (PTI) Equity benchmarks reversed their two-session slide to finish at fresh closing highs on Thursday, propelled by robust gains in market heavyweight Reliance Industries.

Dovish comments from US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell also bolstered global investor sentiment, which augurs well for fund flows into emerging markets like India, analysts said.

Overcoming bouts of mid-session volatility, the 30-share BSE index settled 222.13 points or 0.43 per cent higher at its new closing peak of 51,531.52.

In similar movement, the broader NSE Nifty advanced 66.80 points or 0.44 per cent to its all-time high of 15,173.30.

Reliance Industries was the star performer in the Sensex pack, rallying 4.07 per cent, followed by Sun Pharma, Bajaj Finance, PowerGrid, Bharti Airtel, Nestle India and HUL.

On the other hand, Titan, L&T, HDFC Bank, ITC, ONGC and SBI were among the laggards, tumbling up to 2.50 per cent.

'After the initial downtick, the benchmark recovered in no time and remained range-bound thereafter...The mixed trend continued on the sectoral front as Capital Goods, Consumer Goods and Auto ended with losses whereas Oil & Gas, Metal and Telecom ended with gains.

'We reiterate our bullish view on markets. However, traders should maintain extra caution in the selection of stocks now. Participants would be actively tracking key macroeconomic data like IIP, CPI and WPI data for cues on Friday,' said Ajit Mishra, VP - Research, Religare Broking.

BSE energy, telecom, oil and gas, utilities, basic materials and metal indices surged up to 3.13 per cent, while capital goods, consumer durables, auto and industrials ended in the red.

Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices rallied up to 1.06 per cent.

US Fed Chair Jerome Powell reassured investors that interest rates will remain low in the near future to prop up the economy, adding that the jobs scenario is 'a long way' from where it needs to be.

Elsewhere in Asia, markets in China, Japan and South Korea were closed for holidays.

Stock exchanges in Europe were largely trading on a positive note in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.67 per cent lower at USD 61.06 per barrel.

The Indian rupee ended 3 paise lower at 72.87 against the US dollar.

Foreign institutional investors remained net buyers in the domestic capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 1,786.97 crore on Wednesday, according to exchange data. PTI ABM ANS ABM ABM