Sensex rises more than 1 pct; Bank Nifty hits record

MUMBAI (Reuters) – The BSE Sensex and Nifty rose more than 1 percent on Friday, heading towards their sixth straight session of gains, helped by banking stocks ahead of an industry meet while a survey showing manufacturing activity expanded at its fastest pace in two years in December also boosted sentiment.

Banking stocks advanced on hopes of faster reforms in the sector ahead of a one-of-a-kind two-day industry meet that starts later in the day.

The Bank Nifty rose as much as 1.4 percent to a record high of 19,010.60, surpassing the previous peak of 18,923.60 hit on Dec. 23.

The HSBC Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), compiled by Markit, rose to 54.5 in December from 53.3 in the previous month, its highest since end-2012, as new orders flooded in and factories kept price increases to a minimum.

Investors expect the Narendra Modi-led government to continue with the reforms process while fresh buying is seen ahead of the budget and December-quarter earnings.

The quarterly earnings season kick starts with Infosys (INFY.NS) results on Jan. 9.

“People have started building positions ahead of the Budget. Overseas investment flow is again expected to be firm. The recent correction has provided valuation comfort. We expect the momentum to continue,” said Suresh Parmar, head, institutional equities at KJMC Capital Markets.

The benchmark BSE Sensex gained 1.16 percent to 27,826.11, while the broader Nifty added 1.17 percent at 8,380.80.

State Bank of India gained 1.1 percent, ICICI Bank (ICBK.NS) added 2 percent, and HDFC Bank (HDBK.NS) rose 1.5 percent.

Auto stocks rose with Maruti Suzuki (MRTI.NS) up 1.2 percent and Tata Motors (TAMO.NS) higher 1.9 percent after the release of monthly sales numbers. Maruti reported a 20.8 percent rise in monthly sales.

(Reporting by Indulal PM; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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