Mumbai, India (BBN) – The benchmark BSE Sensex was trading higher by over 150 points and the NSE index Nifty above the 8,900-mark on hopes the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would win the ongoing elections in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
The elections are the world’s largest this year and will have a key influence on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s chances of clinching a second term in 2019. Election results are due out on Saturday, reports The Hindu Business Line.
Sentiment was also boosted as the country moved a step closer towards launching a long-awaited new national sales tax from July after a panel of federal and state finance officials finalised two key Bills to be put before parliament.
“The expectation is that the BJP government will come into power in UP (Uttar Pradesh), and that is possibly driving the market a little more confident than before,” said Deven Choksey, managing director at KR Choksey Shares and Securities.
At 2:20 pm, the 30-share BSE index Sensex was up 152.67 points or 0.53 per cent at 28,985.12 and the 50-share NSE index Nifty was up 41.9 points or 0.47 per cent at 8,939.45.
Among BSE sectoral indices, power index gained the most by 1.04 per cent, oil & gas 1.03 per cent, auto 1.02 per cent and infrastructure 0.93 per cent.
On the other hand, IT index was down 0.52 per cent, metal 0.43 per cent, consumer durables 0.32 per cent and TECk 0.24 per cent.
Top five Sensex gainers were RIL (+3.51 per cent), Tata Motors (+1.85 per cent), Bharti Airtel (+1.69 per cent), Power Grid (+1.68 per cent) and NTPC (+1.44 per cent), while the major losers were TCS (-1.38 per cent), Sun Pharma (-0.81 per cent), HUL (-0.75 per cent), Tata Steel (-0.51 per cent) and HDFC (-0.46 per cent).
Reliance Industries Ltd was the top gainer, rising 4 per cent to its highest since May 2008.
Shares in the energy conglomerate have risen 15 per cent since telecom unit Jio said it would start charging for its services in April.
Financial stocks accounted for nearly half of the gains on the NSE index, with State Bank of India and Axis Bank Ltd leading the rise.
Shares of SBI and Axis Bank rose up to 1.5 per cent each.
Coal India Ltd climbed as much as 2 per cent after its unit Central Coalfields approved share buyback of up to Rs. 1,002 crore ($150.12 million), according to an exchange filing on Saturday.
IT stocks were among the top losers, with Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Infosys Ltd falling over 1 per cent each, amid lack of clarity over processing of H1B visas in the United States.
US stock futures dropped and Asian shares were on the defensive on Monday as investors weighed the near-certain prospect of an interest rate hike in the United States this month against news of slower growth in China this year.
MSCI’s broadest dollar-denominated index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.2 per cent but Seoul shares were down 0.2 per cent, hitting their lowest levels since early February at one point.
The US Dow Jones Industrial Average had ended 0.01 per cent higher on Friday.