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Sensex regains footing, rallies 411 pts as bank stocks spurt

Mumbai: Markets snapped their three-day downward spiral to finish with smart gains on Friday as banking, finance and energy stocks saw robust buying amid supportive global cues.

The 30-share BSE Sensex ended 411.38 points, or 1 per cent, higher at 41,575.14. It hit an intra-day high of 41,611.27.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty closed 119.25 points, or 0.98 per cent, up at 12,245.80.

During the holiday-shortened week, Sensex declined 106.4 points or 0.25 per cent, while Nifty slipped 26 points or 0.21 per cent.

According to traders, banking stocks rallied ahead of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's meeting with heads of public sector banks on Saturday to review financial performance of the lenders and their business growth.

The meeting is expected to take up issues like non-performing asset recovery through both NCLT and non-NCLT means, take stock of the banking sector and push loan growth, sources said.

Axis Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, climbing 3.33 per cent, followed by PowerGrid, SBI, Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank, Reliance Industries and Maruti.

On the other hand, Kotak Bank, UltraTech Cement, Titan and TCS fell up to 0.42 per cent.

"State-run banks helped market to trade higher after consecutive days of weakness. Another announcement of bond sale next week from the central bank lifted the financial stocks higher while positive sentiments in global markets on easing trade concerns fuelled a broad-based rally.

"Investors to stay focused on continuity of government policies and given liquidity is solid, momentum is expected to shift from premium stocks to value stocks," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

BSE energy, realty, oil and gas, bankex, finance, auto and power indices rallied up to 1.74 per cent, while consumer durables ended in the red.

Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices advanced up to 0.87 per cent.

Global equities soared on expectations that the "phase one" trade deal between the US and China will be finalised next month.

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