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Sensex closes a tad below 20,000 points; hits 2 year high

Sensex closes a tad below 20,000 points; hits 2 year high
The Sensex today ended a shade below the 20,000 mark, hitting a 2 year high, as sustained buying from foreign funds, following hopes of a rate cut and the deferral of GAAR provisions helped push benchmark indices higher.

The Sensex closed the day higher by 80 points, while the Nifty rallied 32 points. Today's gains were led by a sharp rally in cement stocks with Ultratech Cement, ACC and Ambuja Cements gaining on sustained buying support. Frenzied buying in telecom stocks also pushed the indices higher with Bharti Airtel surging more than 4 per cent.

Heavyweight, ITC lent support to the markets gaining more than 2 per cent. Other stocks that gained from the Nifty included BPCL, ICICI Bank, Bajaj Auto and Tata Motors.

Axis Bank surged after the bank reported an impressive set of numbers. TCS continued to see buying interest with the stock closing almost 2 per cent higher on an impressive set of results.

Among non index stocks SpiceJet jumped more than 4 per cent, following reports of talks with Qatar Airways for a proposed stake in the company.

Realty stocks were once again in the limelight on hopes of a recovery in the sector. Sobha Developer jumped 5 per cent, while Unitech and India Bulls were the other gainers from the sector.

Nifty components that lost ground in trade today were Sesa Goa, Reliance Industries, HDFC, Infosys and HCL Tech.

PSU Banking stocks ended the day mixed with Allahabad Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Canara Bank gaining, while Union Bank of India and State Bank of India lost ground.

Meanwhile,markets in Europe were trading lower, while most of Asia closed with marginal losses, except the Japanese and Chinese markets which ended the day with gains.

Investors are expected to exercise caution given that the markets have now run-up sharply.

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