Sensex, Nifty extend gains ahead of Budget

Extending gains for the fourth straight session, equity benchmarks ended on a positive note Thursday after the Economic Survey projected India's economic growth rebounding from a five-year low to 7 per cent this year.

The 30-share BSE Sensex settled 68.81 points, or 0.17 per cent, higher at 39,908.06. The index hit an intra-day high of 39,979.10 and a low of 39,858.33.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty gained 30 points, or 0.25 per cent, to finish at 11,946.75. During the day, the index touched a high of 11,969.25 and a low of 11,923.65.

Top gainers in the Sensex pack included Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Asian Paints and PowerGrid, ending up to 2.53 per cent higher.

On the other hand, Yes Bank, HCL Tech, Vedanta, Sun Pharma, Tata Steel, L&T, HDFC Bank and NTPC fell up to 3.56 per cent.

Market sentiment remained positive after the Economic Survey projected GDP growth at 7 per cent in 2019-20 from an estimated 6.8 per cent in the previous year, said Narendra Solanki, Head Fundamental Research (Investment Services) - AVP Equity Research, Anand Rathi Shares and Stock Brokers.

"Investment rate has been seen picking up in FY20 on higher credit growth and improved demand. However, gains remained capped as some concern about monsoon rains in the week resurfaced," he pointed out.

Investors were also cautious ahead of the Union Budget, to be presented Friday.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee appreciated 24 paise to 68.89 against the US dollar intra-day.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai and Hong Kong ended in the red, while those in Tokyo and Seoul settled in the green.

Equity markets in Europe were trading on a positive note in their respective early sessions.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, slipped 0.08 per cent to USD 63.77 per barrel. 

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