Mumbai, Oct 4 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets Thursday crossed the 19,000 mark for the first time in almost 15 months, rising over 200 points ahead of a cabinet meeting in which more economic reforms are expected to be taken up.
Also, strong cues form other Asian markets and good inflows of foreign capital boosted sentiment at the Dalal Street. Realty, banking and power stocks were the best performers.
The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 18,939.75 points, was ruling at 19,070.78 points, 201.09 points or 1.07 percent higher in afternoon trade than its previous day's close at 18,869.69 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 19,087.60 points and a low of 18,939.75 points in intra-day trade. The BSE midcap index was up 71.18 points while the smallcap index was up 62.58 points.
The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange was ruling 1.14 percent higher at 5,796.65 points, hours ahead of a meeting of the union cabinet that is likely to decide on opening up the pension sector to foreign investment, raising the FDI cap in insurance sector to 49 percent from the current 26 percent, increasing urea prices and approve the creation of a National Investment Board.
On the sectoral front, the BSE realty index was up 80.24 points followed by banking index, which was 287.27 points higher, and the power index, up 39.30 points.
Major Sensex gainers were BHEL, up 6.11 percent at Rs.264.90; ICICI Bank, up 3.38 percent at Rs.1,088.40; Tata Steel, up 2.06 percent at Rs.411.30; HDFC Bank, up 1.92 percent at Rs.631.20; Bharti Airtel, up 1.88 percent at Rs.270.65.
The main losers were Hero MotoCorp, down 1.08 percent at Rs.1,830;Cipla, down 1.06 percent at Rs.377.05; Mahindra and Mahindra, down 0.90 Percent at Rs.862; Coal India, down 0.78 percent at Rs.362.10 and TCS, down 0.49 percent at Rs.1,351.20.
Among other Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.89 percent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was trading 0.15 percent higher. Shanghai's composite index was also trading higher by 1.45 percent.