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Nifty ends at 20-month high

BSE Realty index surged by almost 2%

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The ended at a 20-month high on Thursday on expectations that the FDI in mutli-brand retail will be approved by the Rajya Sabha tomorrow after the Bahujan Samaj Party decided to vote in favour of the government.

After making a higher opening, markets turned weak led by weakness among IT, Banking and Capital Goods shares. However, during end-session, markets once again regained strength.

The 30-share ended at 19,487 up 95 points or 0.49% and the 50-share Nifty ended at 5,931 up by 30 points or 0.52%.

In the international markets, Asian shares ended the day on a mixed note after rising to a 16-month high on caution ahead of European Central Bank's policy decision later today and ahead of key U.S. jobs report on Friday that will draw a clear picture of state of economy in US.

Stocks in Europe extended a week-long rally on Thursday while the euro slipped as investors awaited a European Central Bank policy meeting for signs of any future interest rate cuts.

The ECB is expected to keep its benchmark rate at 0.75%. However, markets are looking for clues on whether the deepening recession across the euro zone will prompt President Mario Draghi to signal a further easing in policy.

European stocks covered by the FTSE Eurofirst 300 index, London's FTSE 100, Paris's CAC-40 and Frankfurt's DAX have gained between 0.4-1%.

Back home, the rupee strengthened to its highest level in a month on Thursday as investors grew hopeful the government would be able to win a key vote on foreign direct investment in retail in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

Building on improvement in October, the consumer sentiment moved up in November due to spurt in purchases during the festival period, according to BulFin Consumer Confidence Index (CCI).

On the sectoral front, BSE Realty index surged by almost 2% followed by counters like Power, Banks, Consumer Durable, Oil & Gas, PSU, Auto, Metal, Capital Goods and FMCG, all gaining by 1% each. However, BSE IT and TECk indices declined by 1% each.

Banks and financials which are proxy to the economy also recovered from day’s low and ended higher. SBI, HDFC and ICICI Bank gained between 1-2%. British lender Barclays today said the Reserve Bank is likely to leave the policy rates unchanged at the December 18 review and that a lending rate cut may happen only in the January policy announcement.

Capital Goods major L&T and BHEL gained between 0.4-1.4%.

Index heavyweight Reliance Inds gained over 2%,

From the Metal space, Sterlite was the top Sensex gainer, up over 2%. Hindalco, JSPL, Tata Steel and Coal India gained by almost 1% each.

Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto and Maruti Suzuki gained between 0.3-1%. Maruti Suzuki India today said it will increase the prices of its vehicles across all models by up to Rs 20,000 from January due to increasing pressure on its margins due to currency fluctuation.

From the IT space, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, HCL Technologies, Wipro and Hexaware Technologies ended lower by 0.3-2% on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Shares of Information technology (IT) companies were under pressure for second day in a row after Cognizant Technology Solutions said that it expects 16% revenue growth in 2013 as against its projected 20% growth for the current year 2012.

Bharti Airtel declined by almost 2%. Fitch Rating today said the balance sheets of Indian telecom companies will continue to weaken in 2013 due to funding regulatory payments and re-acquire expensive licences. They will have limited room to hike tariffs due to intense competition in sector. The outlook on Indian telecom sector was negative, Fitch said in a statement.

The broader markets outperformed the benchmarks indices. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 0.5-1%.

The overall market breadth in BSE ended positive with 1,601 shares advancing and 1,297 shares declining.

Smart Movers

Adani Enterprises ended higher by 5% on back of over two-fold jump in trading volumes.

Shares of fertilizer companies were in limelight in noon deals on reports that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) is likely to meet today to approve a new urea investment policy.

Among the individual stocks, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers and National Fertilsers gained nearly 3% each, while Deepak Fertilisers, Chambal Fertiliers and GSFC were up 1-2% on the BSE.

MphasiS ended higher by 2% at Rs 397 after the IT consulting and software firm reported 14% year-on-year growth in its consolidated net profit at Rs 209 crore for the fourth quarter ended October 2012.

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