Mumbai: Snapping six straight sessions of losses, benchmark Indian equity indices ended higher on Wednesday led by gains in banking and financial stocks. The S&P BSE Sensex gained 645.97 points or 1.72% to close at 38177.95, while the Nifty 50 index advanced 186.90 points or 1.68% to close at 11,313.30. In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was up 1.38%, while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index rose 0.66%.

The market breadth was positive. On BSE, 1,277 shares rose while 1,242 shares fell. A total of 179 shares were unchanged. On the Nifty 50, 38 stocks advanced and 12 stocks declined.

BSE’s banking index, Bankex, gained 3.67% to close at 32,537.43. Private and Public sector banks were in demand. IndusInd Bank rose 5.45%, State Bank of India was up 4.78%, ICICI Bank 4.88%, Kotak Mahindra Bank 3.58%, HDFC Bank advanced 3.44%, Axis Bank gained 2.01%, Bank of Baroda 4.54%, Canara Bank 2.65%, Punjab National Bank 2.27%, Bank of India 3.70%, and Union Bank of India rose 2.92%.

The Nifty Pharma index gained 1.21% to close at 7,235.60, ending its six-day losing streak. The index shed 9.02% in the past six days from its closing high of 7857.30. Today, Aurobindo Pharma was up 3.16%, Cipla rose 3.70%), Sun Pharmaceuticals gained 1.11%, Dr Reddy's Laboratories 1.52%, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals 1.89%, Lupin rose 2.32% and GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals was up 0.93%.

Cadila Healthcare surged 4.32% to 237.80 after the company received a final approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for Colesevelam Hydrochloride tablets, used in lowering cholesterol. The tablets will be manufactured at the group's formulations manufacturing facility at the special economic zone in Ahmedabad.

Sentiment got a further boost after the Cabinet hiked the dearness allowance (DA) for central government employees, which is expected to prop up festive demand, analysts said.

Titan Company lost 2.27% after the company in its Q2 update said the jewellery division witnessed a sharp fall in sales after a sudden surge in gold prices dented the consumer demand from mid-June. While retail sales declined in July, between August and September the retail growth was 15% YOY possibly due to promotions and schemes.

TCS fell 1.26%. The software major has been selected by Pandora, a world-leading jewellery design and manufacturer based in Copenhagen, as a strategic IT partner. Further, TCS has expanded its strategic partnership with Legal & General, UK. The strategic partnership with TCS will help L&G build an intelligent and automated digital workspace aligned to its business vision. Infosys was down 0.73%.

State Bank of India (SBI) advanced 4.78% after reports said the lender has slashed its MCLR by 10 basis points, bringing it down to 8.05% from 8.15%, effective 10 October. SBI is set to reduce savings account deposit rate from 3.5% to 3.25% from 1 November, 2019. For 1-2 year deposits, SBI cut retail term deposit and bulk deposit rates by 10-30 basis points, effective from 10 October.

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