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Banks fuel markets bull run; Sensex, Nifty hit new peaks

Friday, January 19, 2018

Continuing their winning run for the second straight day, benchmark equity indices Sensex and Nifty hit fresh closing peaks of 35,260 and 10,817, respectively, with banking counters leading the rally yesterday amid reports that the government might increase FDI limits for banks.

The BSE Sensex rose 178 points, or 0.51%; while the NSE Nifty advanced by 28 points, or 0.26%. Sustained FII inflows and fresh spell of buying by domestic institutional investors too kept the momentum going for the domestic bourses.

Besides, optimism over encouraging Q3 earnings by some more companies and upcoming Budget bolstered sentiment.

Banking counters remained in focus amid reports that the government is considering raising the foreign investment ceiling in private banks to 100% and in public sector lenders to 49%.

However, selling towards the fag-end, as investors took the money off the table at record levels, cut down the session's gains.

Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services Ltd, said, "Government's plan to not widen the net borrowings gave additional legs to market that has been pricing in the potential for further fiscal deficit slippage. FDI plans for banks and GST meeting also meant that indices opened with a gap up, but such successive days of record peaks attracted profit-booking following a mixed bag of earnings and approaching derivatives expiry."

Also, there have been expectations that the GST Council might consider a host of proposals to simplify procedure for filing of returns, registration of large entities and lower tax on some items. The council is also expected to look at GSTN's readiness for e-way bill rollout from February 1.

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