Sensex rises 158 points in early trade

People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai

Boosted by chart-topping gains in shares of index-heavyweight Reliance Industries and a firm trend in shares of metal and banking stocks, domestic share indices started today's session on a positive note, mirroring similar trend in most global equity markets.

At 1.00 p.m., the 30-scrip S&P BSE Sensex, which had previously closed at 33,812.26 points, traded at 33,878.32 points, up 66.06 points or 0.20 per cent.

The Sensex closed up 176.26 points or 0.52% at 33969.64, while the Nifty was up 61.60 points or 0.59% at 10504.80.

Intra-day, it hovered between 10,503.60 and 10,429.55. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) also bought equities to the tune of Rs 64.70 crore.

Major Sensex gainers on Thursday were: Tata Steel, up 3.74 per cent at Rs 760.75; Dr Reddy's Lab, up 3.14 per cent at Rs 2,409.50; Larsen and Toubro, up 3.08 per cent at Rs 1,315.14; ONGC, up 2.92 per cent at Rs 199.35; and Asian Paints, up 2.71 per cent at Rs 1,172.05.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4%.

Hero MotoCorp edged up 0.17 per cent following a healthy 43 per cent jump in December sales.

Fertiliser stocks were in demand.

Data released during market hours revealed that the seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Services PMI Business Activity Index registered an overall increase from 48.5 in November to 50.9 in December. IT, oil and gas, teck and healthcare were the other losers in the sectoral space. The German DAX and France's CAC 40 index both climbed by 0.8 percent while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 inched up 0.3 percent.

The US dollar extended gains against basket of currencies in early Asian trade, after upbeat US data and supportive minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting helped it shake off recent weakness. The Japanese market was shut.

Sectorwise, the S&P BSE consumer durables index rose by 578.32 points, followed by metal index by 420.56 points and capital goods index by 408.55 points.

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