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Markets gain with expectations. Aban Offshore up 7%.

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The markets consistently witnessed firm trades during the day to end the trading session on a strong note led by index heavyweight Reliance Industries. The BSE Sensex ended higher by 226 points at 17,814 and the S&P CNX Nifty ended at 5,430, up 70 points.

Buying was visible across all boards. BSE Metal, Oil & Gas, Realty and Capital Goods indices, up 2-3% each, led the gains.

Realty stocks extended gains in today’s trading session, on expectations that the RBI will continue cutting interest rates in the coming months to support the slowing economy. Lower interest rates are expected to help revive demand for properties. HDIL, Sobha Developers, Godrej Properties, Anant Raj Industries and DLF gained up to 3-5% each.

PSU stocks rose after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said today that the government plans to raise Rs 30,000 crore by selling stakes in state-run firms in the fiscal year that begins on 1 April 2012. The index advanced 1.3% at 7,732.

Shares of infrastructure companies rallied on the bourses on hopes that the RBI may reduce interest rates in its mid-quarter policy review on March 15. GMR Infrastructure, Jaiprakash Associates, Lanco Infrastructure and IRB Infrastructure Developers rallied up to 5-13% each on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Sterlite Industries advanced 5% at Rs 121 and was the top gainer. Other prominent gainers included Gas Authority of India (GAIL), Jindal Steel, ONGC and Reliance Industries, up 3-5% each.

Wipro was the top loser from the pack, down 1.3% at Rs 432. Mahindra & Mahindra shed 1% at Rs 657. Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors and ICICI Bank, down marginally, were the other losers.



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