Equity benchmarks maintained strong momentum in noon trade despite weakness in Asian peers. HDFC Bank was a key driver today, up 7 percent after FII stake-buy ban removed by the RBI. This lifted the Nifty Bank index nearly 600 points to hit a record high.
More than 2 percent market cap of HDFC Bank already traded on exchanges. The street expects large FIIs buying today, aided by bank’s block deals.
The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 243.01 points at 28544.28 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 63 points to 8841, outperforming broader markets.
The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 0.6 percent each as about 1443 shares advanced against 997 declining shares on exchange.
Pharma stocks were in news today. Cadila Healthcare continued to gain after yesterday’s strong run, up more than 5 percent as brokerages raised their target prices and earnings forecast on the stock.
Biocon shares gained nearly a percent after the USFDA accepted company’s license application for biosimilar version of chemotherapy drug.
Kotak Mahindra Bank and Axis Bank were also in focus on merger rumours even as the two lenders denied all rumours. CLSA said if both banks are merged, then the merged entity will become the largest private bank with Rs 8 lakh crore in assets. CLSA sees a share swap ratio of 0.6 shares of Kotak Mahindra Bank for 1 share of Axis Bank.
BHEL and Idea Cellular fell 1-2 percent in an otherwise strong market, on news that both will be replaced by Indiabulls Housing Finance (up 3.77 percent) and IOC (up 2.3 percent) in the Nifty 50 with effect from March 31.
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