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Sensex rises; state election results in focus

censexIndian shares rose on Monday, with the NSE index moving close to breaching a key psychological level of 9,000, on hopes the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would win the ongoing elections in 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.

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 central 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.

The broader NSE Nifty was up 0.69 per cent at 8,959.05 by 0550 GMT, while the benchmark BSE Sensex was 0.74 per cent higher at 29,045.39.

Reliance Industries Ltd was the top gainer, rising 4 percent to its highest since May 2008. Shares in the energy conglomerate have risen 15 percent 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 unit Central Coalfields approved share buyback of up to 10.02 billion rupees ($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.

 

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