Sensex up 69 pts on hopes of rate cut by RBI

Stocks open

The BSE benchmark Sensex today gained nearly 69 points in early trade on sustained buying by funds and retailers on hopes of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank amid a firm trend in the Asian region.

The 30-share barometer, which had gained almost 358 points in the previous four sessions, added 68.72 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 19,852.80 with stocks of oil and gas, auto, PSUs, metal and health-care sectors extending support.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty moved up by 26 points, or 0.43 per cent, to 6,042.15.

Brokers said the trading sentiment remained firm on continued buying by funds and retail investors, largely on hopes that the RBI may cut rates later this month, triggering increased buying activity.

Besides, expectations that the corporates may come out with an encouraging third quarter earnings season, which begins later this week, also boosted the trading sentiment, they added.

Among Asian markets, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose by 0.11 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei shed 0.34 per cent.

Stocks to watch-Jan 7

GLOBAL MARKETS ROUND UP

Nifty futures on the Singapore Exchange rose 0.26 percent. The MSCI-Asia Pacific index, excluding Japan was flat.

Asian stocks drifted as investors booked profits from a New Year rally that had pushed markets to multi-month highs, but financial stocks gained after global regulators decided to relax draft plans for tough new bank liquidity rules.

The benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index ended at a five-year high on Friday, lifted by reports showing employers kept up a steady pace of hiring workers and the vast services sector expanded at a brisk rate.

EVENTS TO WATCH

An Indian ministerial panel will meet to discuss the government's plan for the next airwave auction. (0430 GMT)

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