Sensex jumps 178 pts to regain 19K level after 9 weeks

Sensex jumps 178 pts to regain 19K level after 9 weeks

Extending the gains the sixth day, the 30-share index advanced further by 177.66 points to 19,120.80 points, a level last seen on January 23. The barometer had gained 1,100 points in last five sessions.

In similar fashion, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 49.10 points to 5,736.35, after touching the day's high of 5,770.35. The oil extended losses in New York after Libyan rebels advanced against Muammar Qaddafi's troops, raising speculation the conflict may be resolved soon. The crude fell 0.8 per cent to 103.18 dollar a barrel.

A decline in oil prices for a fourth day allayed concerns that energy costs will fan inflation, marketmen said. The auto index gained the most as stocks of Maruti Suzuki India jumped 3.12 per cent to Rs 1,239.25 and Tata Motors by 1.55 per cent to Rs 1,239.20. Hero Honda Motors, the largest motorcycle maker, surged 3.02 per cent to Rs 1,546.35 after its founder got approval to raise funds from overseas investors.

The second most weighted on the Sensex, Infosys Technologies shot up by Rs 32.50 to Rs 3,172.05. A heavy inflow of foreign funds kept the market in bullish mood and discounted the weakening Asian trend and lower opening in Europe.

The global funds were more keen in emerging markets, particularly India, where they bought a net Rs 1,520 crore of equities on March 25. Among other, Bharti Airtel, the biggest mobile phone operator rose for a sixth day as JPMorgan Chase raised its rating on the stock to 'overweight' from 'neutral' and ONGC, the largest state oil explorer advanced as it won 10 fields in the ninth auction of energy assets.

Barring midcap and smallcap, all sectoral indices closed in the positive zone led by auto, teck, metal and information technology.

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