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Sensex stages late recovery

MUMBAI, MARCH 2. LED BY bank and metals shares, the Sensex today rallied by 35.81 points to close at 6686.89 on the Bombay Stock Exchange following a late bout of heavy buying from foreign funds and local operators, overcoming hectic profit taking midway.

The BSE benchmark 30-share sensitive index resumed higher at 6658.94 against the previous close of 6651.08, but thereafter it eased to a low of 6647.10. Later, it recovered to an intra-day high of 6708.78, before closing at 6686.89. Bank counters found good support on Reserve Bank of India's announcement of a roadmap for reforms in the banking sector.

Metal and cement stocks also rose smartly due to some sops given in the budget.

Bharti Televentures attracted heavy buying and shot up to touch an all-time intra-day high of Rs. 240.70 on expectations of an ADS issue from the company in this quarter, a broker said.

ONGC declined sharply to Rs. 856 after a block deal of 86 lakh shares at the rate of Rs. 865 per share valued at Rs. 746 crores.

Oil stocks such as HPCL and IOC came under pressure and declined sharply. The BSE-100 index recouped 24.74 points to 3581.89 from 3581.89.

Among the specified group, 139 including 17 index-based scrips registered sharp to moderate gains while 59 others ended with losses. — PTI

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