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Sensex Ends 364 Points Higher; Banking and Finance Stocks Witness Buying
Mon, 24 Aug Closing | Monish Vora, TM Team

Indian share markets continued their momentum during closing hours today and ended on a strong note.

Benchmark indices extended gains as the session progressed, tracking global cues as major countries planned to authorize vaccines and treatment for Covid-19, which lifted hopes of a better recovery.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 364 points. Meanwhile, the NSE Nifty stood higher by 95 points.

IndusInd Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank were among the top gainers today.

SGX Nifty was trading at 11,488, up by 105 points, at the time of writing.

The BSE Mid Cap index ended up by 0.4%. The BSE Small Cap index ended up by 1.6%.

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Sectoral indices ended on a positive note with stocks in the banking sector and finance sector witnessing buying interest.

Asian stock markets ended on a positive note. As of the most recent closing prices, the Hang Seng was up 1.74% and the Shanghai Composite stood higher by 0.2%. The Nikkei ended up by 0.3%.

The rupee is trading at 74.32 against the US$.

Moving on to stock specific news, Phoenix Mills was among the top buzzing stocks today.

Shares of the real estate developer surged nearly 6% today after the company raised Rs 11 billion via its Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP).

Phoenix Mills allotted 74.38 lakh shares to Government of Singapore, 12.39 lakh shares to ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, 12.39 lakh shares to SBI Mutual Fund and 9.39 lakh shares to Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund.

In news from the banking sector, banking stocks witnessed buying interest today with the Nifty Bank index rising more than 2.5%.

Individually, State Bank of India (SBI) gained 1.5% on reports that the bank could be among the five state-owned banks which may sell shares to institutional investors in the second half of this fiscal to shore up their capital base amid the coronavirus pandemic impacting the economy.

As per reports, four to five large banks like State Bank of India (SBI), Punjab National Bank (PNB), Bank of Baroda (BoB) and Union Bank of India would look at raising capital towards the end of third quarter or during the fourth quarter of this fiscal.

On Friday, the government also appointed Ashwani Bhatia as the Managing Director of SBI.

In another development, Union Bank of India jumped over 5.5% after the bank's June quarter profit rose to Rs 3.41 billion as against Rs 2.3 billion in the corresponding period of last fiscal.

The figures related to June 2019 are of pre-amalgamated period, hence not comparable with post-amalgamation financials for the quarter ended June 2020, the bank said.

Amalgamation of Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank into Union Bank came into effect from April 1, 2020.

Apart from the above, private bank stocks such as Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Bank, City Union Bank, and ICICI Bank gained in the range of 3-4%.

Learn: How to Potentially Accumulate Rs 7 Crore in Wealth Over the Long-term

Moving on to news from the commodity space, extending losses to the fourth day, domestic gold prices continued to trade lower today with futures on MCX falling 0.7% to Rs 51,630 per 10 gram.

In the past four days, gold prices have tumbled around Rs 1,700 per 10 gram.

Tracking gold, silver futures on MCX fell nearly 1% to Rs 66,426 per kg.

In the previous session, gold had dropped 0.3% while silver futures declined 1%.

From August 7th highs of about Rs 56,200, gold is down more than Rs 4,300 per 10 gram.

In global markets, gold prices moved lower amid a steady US dollar. Investors also waited Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's speech at Jackson Hole later this week for more clues on the direction of US monetary policy.

Last week, physical gold dealers in India offered the highest discounts in more than a month and a half, even as more bullion flowed in from abroad, Reuters reported.

Speaking of the precious yellow metal, how lucrative has gold been as a long-term investment in India?

The chart below shows the annual returns on gold over the last 15 years...

As you can see, barring just two years - 2013 and 2015, gold has delivered positive returns in 13 of the last 15 years.

Even with the recent volatility in prices, gold and silver remain among the best performing commodities this year to combat the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Also speaking of gold, note that media and experts have been taking potshots at Buffett of late for buying a gold mining stock. This seems to be an acknowledgement of his mistake in not buying gold a decade back.

But is this truly a case of 'error of omission' as Buffett would call it? Is Buffett's exposure to gold significant?

Should you too shun stocks and significantly increase your exposure to the yellow metal?

Co-head of research at Equitymaster, Tanushree Banerjee answers all these questions in her latest video.

Tune in to find out more:

To know what's moving the Indian stock markets today, check out the most recent share market updates here.

For information on how to pick stocks that have the potential to deliver big returns, download our special report now!

Read the latest Market Commentary

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BALMER LAWRIE Share Price Down by 5%; BSE 500 Index Down 1.1% (Today's Market)

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BALMER LAWRIE share price is trading down by 5% and its current market price is Rs 148. The BSE 500 is down by 1.1%. The top gainers in the BSE 500 Index are TV18 BROADCAST (up 6.8%) and MOTILAL OSWAL (up 6.1%). The top losers are BALMER LAWRIE (down 5.0%) and APOLLO HOSPITALS (down 5.5%).

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