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Markets close higher as rally in Europe boosts sentiments

Markets close higher as rally in Europe boosts sentiments
Markets ended the day sharply higher as a rally in Europe lifted sentiments with the Indian indices closing at the highest levels since January.

The Sensex ended the day higher by 134 (provisional) points, while the Nifty gained 44 points in trade. Among the gainers in trade today were the heavyweights including ITC and ICICI Bank. In fact, ITC hit a fresh 52-week high on the bourses on sustained buying.

Shriram Transport was one of the stars of the day with the stock rallying sharply following news that Ajay Piramal, the chairman of Piramal Group, bought a 10 percent stake in the company.

Aptech continued to gain for a second day in a row after Thursday's rally following reports that the company was buying back its shares.

Among the top gainers from the Nifty were Maruti Suzuki, Lupin, Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra. Top losers from the Nifty was Coal India which slumped following reports that the government was planning a stake sale in the company. Jindal Steel, Punjab National Bank, Sun Pharma and Asian Paints were the other losers.

Shares of NDTV gained sharply in trade, after the company posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 27.8 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2013, against a net loss of Rs 41.30 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year.

The mid cap index ended the day flat. The prominent gainers from the space were Aurobindo, CESC, GMR and NHPC.

PSU banking stocks were subdued in trade with notable losers including Punjab National Bank and Union Bank of India. However, Central Bank of India rallied almost 10 per cent, after the company reported lower then expected non performing assets.

Meanwhile, markets in Europe were trading higher following a good set of results reported in the region.

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