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Sensex surges 376 points

Mumbai, Jan. 13: The benchmark Sensex surged 376 points today, clocking its biggest gain in seven weeks, in anticipation of lower retail inflation figures and hope that the US Federal Reserve will ease tapering after disappointing jobs data.

Investors also expect the RBI to keep interest rates unchanged in a bid to support growth after the Index of Industrial Production contracted 2.1 per cent in November. There were hopes of inflation easing amid increased availability of the winter crops.

There was buying across the board as 11 of the 12 BSE sectoral indices advanced, led by IT, tech, oil and gas, banking and capital goods stocks. Only the healthcare index fell.

Heavyweights Infosys, TCS, Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank contributed the most to the gains in the Sensex.

The 30-share S&P BSE Sensex opened higher and stayed in the positive terrain through the day. It ended at 21134.21, a rise of 375.72 points, or 1.81 per cent. It was the biggest gain since November 25, when the index added 387.69 points.

The Fed said it would reduce its bond-buying programme, which has been a source of liquidity for most Asian and emerging markets, from this month. US employment rose at the slowest pace in three years in December, according to a government report.

“Markets rose sharply on Monday, likely buoyed by the weak payroll data in US, which re-ignited optimism on the Fed taper programme. Expectations on the CPI inflation data which was due after market hours, also kept it up,” said Dipen Shah, head, private client group research, at Kotak Securities.

The 50-share CNX Nifty on the National Stock Exchange shot up 101.30 points, or 1.64 per cent, to 6272.75.

“The markets seem to be anticipating a healthy inflation figure, since that would reinforce that the RBI’s decision to not raise the headline repo rate last month was the correct decision,” said Raghu Kumar, co-founder of RKSV.

 
 
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