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Market update: BSE Sensex closes at two-week high, FMCG stocks rise

Expectations of a pro-growth Budget and hopes of further interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of India supported trading sentiments in the domestic market, brokers said.

(Photo: Reuters) (Photo: Reuters)

The benchmark Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) index Sensex pared initial gains of over 200 points ahead of crucial Greek debt talks and ended with a 41-point rise at a two-week high of 29,135.88 on Monday.

Expectations of a pro-growth Budget and hopes of further interest rate cuts supported markets, brokers said.

The 30-issue BSE barometer hit a session high of 29,325.35 in the first half but succumbed to profit-booking at fag-end and slipped into the negative zone as it hit a low of 29,083.40.

Later, gains in FMCG, auto and power shares helped the index settle with a gain of 40.95 points (or 0.14 per cent), at 29,135.88. The gauge has now gathered over 908 points in the five straight sessions.

The broader 50-share National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty edged higher by 3.85 points (or 0.04 per cent), to end at 8,809.35. Intra-day, the index shuttled between 8,793.40 and 8,870.10.

During the day, government data showed Wholesale Price Index (WPI) inflation for January declined to a five and a half year low of (-) 0.39 per cent.

Among the 30 Sensex scrips, stocks of ITC gained the most by rising 3.11 per cent. Shares of Hindustan Unilever, another FMCG major, also notched up a rise of 1.62 per cent.

Others which supported the indices to close in positive zone included TCS, Bharti Airtel, HDFC, Cipla, Dr Reddy, GAIL, HDFC Bank, M&M, NTPC, ONGC, Tata Steel and Tata Motors.

Sun Pharma, however, suffered the most by falling 2.65 per cent after the company reported a 6.92 per cent decline in its consolidated net profit for the third quarter ended December.

Sectorwise, the BSE FMCG index gained the most by surging 1.79 per cent, Realty gained 0.97 per cent, Power by 0.61 per cent, Auto by 0.45 per cent, Capital Goods by 0.18 per cent and IT by 0.17 per cent.

Globally, all eyes are on the Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis on Monday meeting his counterparts from the Eurozone in Brussels to seek their backing for an overhaul of the austerity-laden bailout.

Global markets are hoping a deal can be reached before the end of February, when Greece's bailout is due to expire.

Failure to agree to an extension would see it default on its giant debts and likely mean it would crash out of Eurozone.

Markets are closed on Tuesday on account of Mahashivratri.