The market continued to be choppy with positive bias in afternoon trade. Banks, select metals and Reliance Industries supported the market whereas pharma, capital goods and PSU oil stocks remained under pressure.
The Sensex rose 41.97 points to 28749.72 and the Nifty advanced 19.05 points to 8733.45. About 1488 shares have advanced, 1183 shares declined, and 152 shares are unchanged on the BSE.
Banking majors ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, SBI and Axis Bank rallied 1.5-2.5 percent with the Bank Nifty up 300 points. Tata Steel climbed 1.7 percent. Coal India advanced over 1 percent as brokerage Macquarie reiterated its outperform rating on the stock with increased target price of Rs 452 (from Rs 420) and upgraded earnings by 8 percent after coal ministry issued a directive removing an earlier cap on e-auction volume effective April 2015.
However, pharma stocks declined as Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded Sun Pharma to underperform from buy; and Lupin, Cipla & Cadila Healthcare to neutral from buy. The brokerage believes that some stocks in sector may be priced to perfection with less room for error. Sun Pharma, Lupin and Cadila Healthcare tanked 3.5 percent each while Cipla lost 2.4 percent.
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