Sensex at 3-week high; up 106 pts

Sensex at 3-week high; up 106 pts

The BSE benchmark Sensex today rose to 3-week high by adding 106 points, up four sessions in a row, led by financials ahead of RBI monetary policy and the Union Budget amid a firm trend in global markets. 

Sensex, which had gained 668 points in the previous three sessions, gained another 105.68 points, or 0.59 per cent, to 17,919.30, a level last seen on February 24.

Intra-day, it regained the 18,000 mark as the Rail Budget left freight rates untouched and marginally hiked passenger fares.

Investors ignored rise in inflation to 6.95 per cent in February from 6.55 per cent in January, dimming changes of RBI cutting lending rates, experts said.

The 30-scrip National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose 34.40 points, or 0.63 per cent to 5,463.90, after reaching more near to 5,500 level.

Market sentiment bolsetered by firm global markets, with US key index closing at highest level since December 31, 2007 on upbeat economic data.

However, in the broader market, shares of railway-related companies like Kalindi Rail, Texmaco, Titagarh Wagon, and Kernex Microsystems declined as rail budgetary proposal had little to cheer them.

Banking sector index rose 1.83 per cent to 12,529 ahead of the Reserve Bank's monetary policy review tomorrow. Lenders like State Bank, ICICI Ban, Axis Bank and Punjab and National Bank recorded handsome gains.

Infosys, Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp, Maruti Suzuki, ONGC, Larsen and Toubro, NTPC, Gail India, Coal India, Sun Pharma and Cipla were among the gainers.