- Markets open flat as election dates announced, Services PMI index sees marginal gainBSE Sensex up 67 pts to end near record close, ICICI Bank shares jump 2.7 pctShares of PSU banks rally as P. Chidambaram talks about capital infusionAs Election Commission sets 2014 Lok Sabha poll dates, traders brace for stock rally
Benchmark indices extended gains on Wednesday with the BSE benchmark, the BSE Sensex ending 67.13 points or 0.32% higher at 21,276.86 points, while the NSE Nifty closed 30.70 points or 0.49% higher at 6,328.65 points. Election commission announced that 2014 general elections would be held from April 7 to May 12.
Experts feel outcome of elections would be the key trigger for the markets. "The outcome of national elections is important in that the formation of a stable government post the 2014 national elections will likely result in a further push to the ongoing economic reforms," Kotak Institutional Equities said in a research report on wednesday.
Among sectoral indices, the BSE Realty (1.95%), BSE Bankex (1.47%) and BSE Capital Goods (1.13%) were the major gainers. Among individual stocks, ICICI Bank (2.7%), * Coal India (1.74%) and * Cipla (1.72%) were the major gainers on the 30-share Sensex.
Meanwhile, the HSBC Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), compiled by Markit, rose to 48.8 in February from 48.3, but remained below the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.
Most Asian indices ended in the green with tensions in Ukraine easing. The Nikkei (1.2%), Straits Times (0.38%), Kospi (0.88%) and Jakarta Composite (1.26%) ended in the green . Markets would be eyeing European GDP data for further cues.