Sensex up 100 points led by banking stocks

Mumbai: Amid mixed global cues, the benchmark Sensex advanced over 100 points during Wednesday’s afternoon trade session following lower trade deficit and cooling of inflation.

The trade deficit in December narrowed due to fall in imports – $41.01 billion or 2.44 percent down from $42.03 billion in the same month of 2017.

Banking stocks led the gains on the BSE and the NSE as investors expect the central bank to cut policy rates in the Monitory Policy Committee (MPC) meet scheduled on February 7.

Recent data has indicated a cooling inflation rate providing room for the RBI to go for the rate cut, analysts said.

Consequently, Nifty PSU bank index gained over 1 percent, the most among the 11 sectors on NSE. Banking stocks on BSE also edged higher, gaining 0.68 percent.

At 1.26 p.m., the Sensex traded at 36,409.56 points, higher by 91.23 points or 0.25 percent from the previous close of 36,318.33.

It had opened at 36,370.74 points and touched an intra-day high of 36,462.03 and a low of 36,300.82.

The Nifty50 traded at 10,915.45, higher by 28.65 points or 0.26 percent from the previous close of 10,886.80.

Globally, markets traded on a mixed note amid political tension in the UK as Prime Minister Teresa May lost the Brexit vote in Parliament by a historic 230 vote margin. The Brexit deal was rejected 432 votes to 202, the margin being one of the largest in memory and triggering the tabling of a no-confidence motion against the government.