The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes advanced for second session in a row led by strong buying interest in banking and financial services shares. The benchmarks opened higher and extended gains in afternoon trading led by index heavyweights like ICICI Bank, HDFC, HDFC Bank, State Bank of India and ITC. The Sensex rose as much as 597 points and Nifty 50 index moved above its important psychological level of 11,800.

The Sensex ended 504 points or 1.27 per cent higher at 40,261 and Nifty 50 index climbed 144 points or 1.24 per cent to close at 11,814.

Banking shares witnessed strong buying interest for second session in a row. In the last two sessions the gauge of banking shares on the National Stock Exchange – Nifty Bank index – has surged 1,782 points or 7.45 per cent.

In today’s session, eight of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended higher led by the Nifty Bank index’s 3.15 per cent gain. Nifty Financial Services, Auto, Metal, PSU and Private Bank indexes also rose between 1-3 per cent.

On the other hand, real estate, media and IT stocks witnessed selling pressure.

Mid- and small-cap shares ended mixed as Nifty Midcap 100 index rose 0.6 per cent while Nifty Smallcap 100 index ended unchanged.

ICICI Bank was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 7 per cent to close at Rs 445.50. Hindalco, State Bank of India, Power Grid, HDFC, Sun Pharma, Hero MotoCorp, Eicher Motors and SBI Life also rose between 3-5 per cent.

On the flipside, UPL, NTPC, Reliance Industries, Nestle India, Hindustan Unilever, Adani Ports, HCL Technologies and Infosys were among the top Nifty losers.

The overall market breadth was marginally positive as 1,408 shares ended higher while 1,231 closed lower on the BSE.

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