Key Indian equity indices rally for third straight day (Roundup)

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Mumbai, March 3 (IANS) Indian equities on Thursday rallied for the third straight day, taking the three-day gains made by a key index to 1,604.99 points or 6.83 percent — thanks to strong global cues as also on the belief that the central bank may cut rates ahead of its April review.

The sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 24,386.67 points, closed at 24,606.99 points — up 364.01 points or 1.50 percent – from the previous day’s close at 24,242.98 points.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also closed 106.75 points or 1.45 percent up at 7,475.60 points.

The market sentiment was lifted by what Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha told a conclave on venture capital in New Delhi on Thursday. He said the budget had tried to create the right environment ensuring that the government maintains fiscal discipline.

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“Macroeconomic stability is fundamental to ensuring monetary policy has the space and if we don’t provide that space by generally a tighter fiscal policy, then we can’t expect the monetary policy to loosen up,” he said, in what appeared to be a signal to the central bank.

The Sensex of the BSE mopped up 1,604.99 points or 6.83 percent in three days, while Nifty gained 488.55 points or 6.85 percent during the same period.

A similar analysis came after the release of Nikkei India Composite Purchase Managers’ Index.

“One centre-piece of the latest survey result is evidence of fading inflationary pressures which combined with a stuttering recovery and an increasingly challenging global backdrop open up room for a rate cut,” said Pollyanna De Lima, economist at Markit, which compiles the survey.

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“Foreign Institutional Investors are coming back stronger to India compared to other emerging markets as elaborated by the outperformance during this week. Signs of stabilization in the global market coupled with a disciplined union budget provided an edge to the Indian market,” said Vinod Nair, head-fundamental research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

Sector-wise, S&P BSE capital goods index gained 4.12 percent, metal index moved up by 4.05 percent, industrials index mopped up 3.42 percent and basic materials index went up by 2.55 percent.

Within the Sensex, Tata Steel topped the gainers chart by scoring 7.17 percent higher at Rs.286.30, followed by Tata Motors, up 6.10 percent at Rs.336.35 and BHEL, up 6.02 percent at Rs.103.10.

ICICI Bank led the losers, down 1.04 percent at Rs.217.90, followed by ITC, down 0.75 percent at Rs.317.50 and NTPC, down 0.24 percent at Rs.126.40.

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In Asian markets, Nikkei closed 1.28 percent up and China’s Shanghai Composite index closed 4.24 percent higher while Hong Kong’s Hang Sang closed 0.31 percent lower.

In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was up by 0.21 percent, while Germany’s DAX Index was lower by 0.07 percent and France’s CAC 40 down by 0.18 percent.

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