SBI hits record high, lifts banking index by 2 pc

SBI hits record high, lifts banking index by 2 pc

The banking index was the top performer among the BSE's sectoral indices today, rising by 277.98 points, or 2.19 per cent, to 12,984.19 points. The largest state-run lender, State Bank of India, stole the show among banking stocks and climbed to hit an all-time high of Rs 2,999.95 before settling 3.05 per cent higher at Rs 2,982.50. During the session, over 6.83 lakh shares of the company changed hands on the BSE.

Buying interest in banking stocks gathered momentum on expectations that the booming domestic economy will grow by at least 8.5-8.75 per cent during the current year, benefiting the sector. In addition, strong first quarter numbers from most banks also buoyed the trading sentiment, brokers said.

"Impressive growth in the domestic economy and better- than-expected first quarter earnings triggered buying in banking sector stocks," said Rajeev Malik, a Delhi-based stockbroker.

ICICI Bank, the largest lender in the private sector, gained 2.48 per cent to Rs 1,050.75. During the day, over 5.58 lakh shares of the company changed hands.
HDFC Bank also surged by 2.67 per cent to Rs 2,240.45, with 1.81 lakh shares changing hands. Other gainers in the segment included Bank of India, which rose by 5.47 per cent to Rs 488.20, while Oriental Bank of Commerce was up by 3.43 per cent at Rs 454.40, Canara Bank by 3.64 per cent at Rs 565.35 and Union Bank by 2.90 per cent at Rs 355.25.

Meanwhile, the BSE-30 share index Sensex also gained 132.95 points, or 0.71 per cent to 18,799.66, its best close since January 18, 2008.

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