Stock Market

Sensex, Nifty extend gain; ITC, Reliance, HDFC, Tata Motors lead


Chillicious Team

10:20 am Oil above $40/bbl:

Oil prices dipped in Asia today but Brent crude stayed above USD 40 a barrel, as traders took profits after solid gains over the past three weeks.

Prices have strengthened following talks of a production freeze, with a producers meeting mooted on March 20 in a bid to ease a global supply glut that has depressed the market.

Sentiment has also been boosted by strong US jobs growth data and a weaker greenback which makes dollar-priced oil cheaper, perking up demand.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in April slid 38 cents to USD 37.52 and Brent crude for May fell 53 cents to USD 40.31 a barrel.

Brent closed at USD 40.84 a barrel in London yesterday, its highest since early December.

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10:00 am Market Check: The market gained further on support from index heavyweights Reliance Industries, HDFC and ITC. The broader markets also traded in line with benchmarks; the BSE Midcap gained 0.5 percent and Smallcap climbed nearly 1 percent.

The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 130.26 points to 24776.74 and the 50-share NSE Nifty surged 37.15 points to 7522.50. More than two shares advanced for every share declining on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

ITC, Tata Motors, Lupin, ONGC, GAIL and BHEL topped buying list on Sensex, up more than 2 percent followed by HDFC, L&T, Sun Pharma, Axis Bank and M&M with more than 1 percent upside.

Infosys, TCS, ICICI Bank, HUL and SBI declined around a percent.