Mumbai: Indian equity markets on Friday edged higher on hopes the government may announce stimulus package in the upcoming Budget to revive the economy.

The benchmark indices closed 0.6% higher, with Sensex ending the session at 41613.19, up 226.79 points and Nifty at 12248.25, up 67.90 points.

The BSE MidCap and BSE SmallCap index rose 0.81% and 0.53% respectively. Most sectoral indices were in the green barring BSE Energy index which slipped 0.2%. BSE Capital Goods, BSE Consumer Durables and BSE Bankex indices were up over 1% each.

Tech Mahindra, UltraTech Cement, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Larsen & Toubro were the top gainers on the Sensex, rising over 2%. PowerGrid and IndusInd Bank which fell over 2% and 1% respectively were the biggest laggards.

Vodafone Idea Ltd closed 2.4% higher at 6.05, extending gains from Thursday after the government said it won’t take any coercive action against the telecom companies which failed to meet the 23 January deadline to pay adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues.

Shares of Adani Gas rose over 1% after the company clarified on Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board’ (PNGRB) notice regarding non-disclosure of information and alleged violation while bidding for city gas distribution projects.

On BSE, 1,379 stocks advanced 1124 stocks declined and 173 remained unchanged. In Nifty, 36 stocks advanced and 14 stocks declined.

“On the economy front, December exports at $27.4 billion implied a growth of -1.8%, while imports witnessed growth of -8.8% to$38.6 billion. Foreign portfolio investors (FPI) bought equities worth $1.6 billion over the past five trading sessions while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold US$385 million worth of equities in the same period," according to Sanjeev Zarbade, VP, research, Kotak Securities.

Despite the gains in the markets, traders were worried about risks to global trade from the outbreak of a new coronavirus and a mixed set of results in 3QFY20, analysts said.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei225 index closed 0.13% higher and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.15%. Markets in China and Korea were closed today.


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