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Sensex, Nifty end higher for second session; SBI, L&T, Axis Bank top gainers

Sensex rose 111 points to finish at 50,651 and Nifty gained 22 points to 15,197. Among 30 Sensex stocks, 17 ended in green

SBI was the top  Sensex gainer climbing 2.73 per cent, followed by L&T, Axis Bank, PowerGrid, ITC, Maruti, Dr Reddy's and HDFC. SBI was the top Sensex gainer climbing 2.73 per cent, followed by L&T, Axis Bank, PowerGrid, ITC, Maruti, Dr Reddy's and HDFC.

Benchmark indices closed higher for the second straight session led by gains in banking and finance stocks  amid a continuing decline in COVID-19 cases. Sensex rose 111 points to finish at 50,651 and Nifty gained 22 points to 15,197.

SBI was the top  Sensex gainer climbing 2.73 per cent, followed by L&T, Axis Bank, PowerGrid, ITC, Maruti, Dr Reddy's and HDFC.

SBI share hit an intraday high of Rs 418.9 rising 4.44% after the brokerages got bullish on the stock post the lender's Q4 earnings. Index heavyweights HDFC twins accounted for most of the index's gains.

Titan, IndusInd Bank, M&M, HUL, UltraTech Cement and Bajaj Finserv were among the major losers, falling up to 1.22 per cent. Among 30 Sensex stocks , 17 ended in green. Market cap on BSE hit a record high of Rs 218.97 lakh crore today.  

Market breadth was positive with 1,925 shares rising against 1,290 falling on BSE.  171 shares were unchanged.

Daily COVID-19 infections in India dipped to 2,22,315, the lowest in around 38 days, pushing the total tally of coronavirus cases to 2,67,52,447, while the death toll crossed the 3-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday. BSE midcap and small cap indices rose 183 points and 161 points, respectively.

Sector-wise,  banking stocks were the top gainers  with BSE bankex rising 341 points and BSE capital goods index gaining 309 points. BSE oil and gas index too rose 271 points to 16,074.

Nagaraj Shetti, Technical Research  Analyst, HDFC Securities said, "The short term trend of Nifty remains up. Further consolidation or any weakness from here could be a buy on dips opportunity. A sustainable upside breakout of 15K mark and the positive chart pattern of higher tops and bottoms indicate a strength of upside in the market and one may expect upside bounce from the lower levels. Immediate support is placed at 15,085."

Shrikant Chouhan, Executive Vice President, Equity Technical Research at Kotak Securities said, "After a firm opening, the market failed to gather momentum and closed with modest gains of 22.40 points to close at 15197,70. Tomorrow, we expect the market to trade in a range of 15125 and 15275 levels. However, in the second half, we would see a trending activity in the direction of a break-out of the given trading range. The focus should be on auto, reality and infra stocks."