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Sensex ends 280 points higher on bank stocks' rally

March 23, 2021 18:38 IST

UltraTech Cement was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising 3.06 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Titan, Axis Bank, SBI and Reliance Industries.

NSE Nifty advanced 78.35 pointsto close at 14,814.75.

Equity indices regained their footing on Tuesday, propelled by banking stocks which surged after the Supreme Court declined to extend the the loan moratorium period and said complete waiver of interest is not possible.

Reversing last session's losses, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 280.15 points or 0.56 per cent higher at 50,051.44.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty advanced 78.35 points or 0.53 per cent to close at 14,814.75.

 

UltraTech Cement was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising 3.06 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Titan, Axis Bank, SBI and Reliance Industries.

On the other hand, ONGC, PowerGrid, ITC, NTPC, M&M and HDFC were among the laggards, shedding up to 2.28 per cent.

The apex court on Tuesday refused to interfere with the Centre's and the RBI's decision to not extend the loan moratorium beyond August 31 last year, saying it is a policy decision.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said that the top court cannot do judicial review of the Centre's financial policy decision unless it is malafide and arbitrary.

It also directed that no compound or penal interest be charged during the six-month moratorium period, but added that complete waiver of interest is not possible as it will have huge financial implications.

"Domestic market ended the day on a strong footing supported by a rally in banking stocks amidst weak cues from global markets.

"Sentiments in the banking stocks were lifted post Supreme Court's order against granting interest waiver and extension of moratorium period.

"While its decision to not charge compound interest added a minor concern in the banking space.

"In the global space, European markets pulled back as rising COVID infections reflected lockdown worries," said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services.

Sector-wise, BSE bankex, industrials, energy, realty, and power indices rose up to 1.51 per cent, while metal, FMCG, oil and gas and telecom indices closed with losses.

Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices climbed as much as 0.95 per cent.

Global equities were on the back foot as investors awaited Congressional testimony by US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul ended on a negative note. Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading with losses in mid-session deals.

The rupee gave up all its intra-day gains to settle 6 paise lower at 72.43 against the US dollar, in line with weakness in other peers against the American currency.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Monday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 786.98 crore, as per exchange data.

Photograph: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters

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