Markets end firm; banks lead rally

Markets end firm; banks lead rally

New Delhi: The markets extended gains to a fifth straight session, with banking stocks leading the surge on hopes interest rate cuts would boost credit flow.

The BSE benchmark index ended up 293 points or 2.8% at 10,631 levels after touching an intra-day low of 10,116 levels.

Among sectoral indices, the BSE realty index firmed up over 12% with DLF Limited gaining 14.7% to end at Rs290 levels. Ansal Infrastructure, Omaxe Limited, Peninsula Land, Unitech Limited, HDIL, Sobha Developers and Parsvnath Developers were some of the other notable gainers.

Banking stocks witnessed a smart rally after Finance Minister P Chidambaram assured that banks would consider the demand for lowering interest rates.

Bank of Baroda, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Union Bank, Yes Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, State Bank of India, Bank of India and Axis Bank were some of the key gainers in this space.

Strength was also visible in select power sector scrips. Lanco Infra and GVK Power surged over 24% each. Siemens, Suzlon Energy, Tata Power, Neyveli Lignite, Bhel and Torrent Power also ended in positive turf.