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Bank stocks move higher

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The movement for the two key benchmark indices remained confined to a narrow range in positive zone in afternoon trade. At 13:16 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 148.10 points or 0.53% at 28,153.47. The gains for the Nifty 50 index were higher in percentage terms than those for the Sensex. The Nifty was currently up 53.80 points or 0.62% at 8,677.85. The market sentiment was positive after the minutes of the latest US Federal Reserve meeting showed policymakers were in no rush to raise interest rates.

The Sensex rose 208.80 points, or 0.75% at the day's high of 28,214.17 in mid-morning trade, its highest level since 9 August 2016. The index rose 71.63 points, or 0.26% at the day's low of 28,077 in early trade. The Nifty rose 66.65 points, or 0.77% at the day's high of 8,690.70 in mid-morning trade, its highest level since 9 August 2016. The index rose 21 points, or 0.24% at the day's low of 8,645.05 in early trade.

The broad market depicted strength. There were nearly two gainers against every loser on BSE. 1,605 shares rose and 811 shares fell. A total of 164 shares were unchanged. The BSE Mid-Cap index was currently up 0.51%, underperforming the Sensex. The BSE Small-Cap index was currently up 0.99%, outperforming the Sensex.

In overseas stock markets, European shares edged higher led by gains in financials and industrial stocks. Asian stocks were mixed after minutes of the US Federal Reserve's latest meeting showed policymakers were in no rush to raise interest rates. US stocks closed slightly higher yesterday, 17 August 2016, sharply paring earlier losses, as minutes from the Federal Reserve's July meeting showed policy makers remain divided on prospects for a near-term rate increase. Stocks bounced off session lows after St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said that with US growth trending below 2%, interest rates can stay low.

Bank stocks gained across the board. Among private bank stocks, HDFC Bank (up 0.96%), Kotak Mahindra Bank (up 1.85%), ICICI Bank (up 2.1%), Federal Bank (up 1.17%), City Union Bank (up 1.55%), Axis Bank (up 0.79%), IndusInd Bank (up 3.35%) and Yes Bank (up 0.87%) gained.

Among PSU bank stocks, State Bank of India (SBI) (up 0.89%), Punjab National Bank (up 1.72%), Andhra Bank (up 2.65%), UCO Bank (up 1.36%), Allahabad Bank (up 1.39%), Bank of Baroda (up 1.46%), Canara Bank (up 2.37%), IDBI Bank (up 1.25%), Bank of India (up 0.67%) and Union Bank of India (up 1.55%) rose.

Indian Bank jumped 4.4% to Rs 226.55 after a bulk deal of 10.18 lakh shares was executed on the scrip at Rs 225.50 per share at 09:41 IST on BSE.

Telecom stocks rose. Idea Cellular (up 0.86%), Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) (up 0.32%) and Reliance Communications (up 1.61%) rose. MTNL fell 1.87%.

Bharti Airtel rose 1.67% on reports that Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) intends to acquire a stake in Thailand's Intouch Holdings and also raise its holding in Bharti Airtel's holding company Bharti Telecom to take advantage of faster growth in emerging markets. SingTel plans to acquire a 21% stake in Intouch for 1.58 billion Singapore dollar and an additional 7.39% stake in Bharti Telecom for 884 million Singapore dollar through wholly-owned subsidiaries, reports suggested. SingTel already owns a 39.78% stake in Bharti Telecom, as per reports. Bharti Telecom holds 45.09% stake in Bharti Airtel (as per the shareholding pattern as on 30 June 2016).

Shares of Bharti Infratel shed 0.09%. Bharti Infratel is a provider of tower and related infrastructure and is a unit of Bharti Airtel.

Gammon India surged 11.3% after the company bagged a highway project worth Rs 869.99 crore in Karnataka from National Highways Authority of India. It is engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) contract. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 17 August 2016.

Sudarshan Chemical Industries rose 2.34% to Rs 369.50 as Morgan Stanley Mauritius Company bought 4.08 lakh shares of the company at an average price of Rs 356.96 per share in a bulk deal on the NSE yesterday, 17 August 2016.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Thu, August 18 2016. 13:13 IST