Key Indian equity market indices open higher

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The benchmark BSE Sensex rallied about 160 points to trade above the key 30,000-mark in opening trade on Wednesday, buoyed by forecast of a normal monsoon this year amid positive global cues.

Both indices had hit their earlier highest levels on May 5, when the NSE index had touched 9,377 and Sensex, 30,177.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) rose by 22.35 points or 0.24 percent to 9,307.65 points.

Fourteen of the 30 Sensex constituents ended higher on Thursday, while overall declining issues outnumbered advancing ones 1,614 to 1,231 and 147 closed unchanged.

Indian shares eked out marginal gains on Thursday as two-wheeler manufacturers advanced on bets stronger monsoon rains would boost farm incomes, helping spur demand for motorcycles and scooters in rural markets.

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Midcaps gained nearly a per cent, while metals and banks gained around half per cent. "It later shifted into sideways range for better part of the day and slipped into decline towards the end", Deepak Jasani, Head (Retail Research), HDFC Securities, told IANS.

The rupee gained marginally at 64.52 to the USA dollar on Thursday in early session. "Financial services stocks were also seen rallying reflecting markets' expectations for further strength in equities", said Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services in a note. Japan's Nikkei 225 is trading in green, up by 0.21 per cent, Hang Seng was up by 0.24 per cent while South Korea's Kospi was up by 0.78 per cent.

Among the sectoral indices, consumer durables rose 1.65 percent, auto 0.98 percent, metal 0.69 percent, teck 0.57 percent, healthcare 0.55 percent and IT 0.29 percent.

BSE Mid-cap index closed higher by 0.19% at 14,821.

However, Wipro fell 1.64 per cent, Asian Paints 1.14 per cent, ICICI Bank 0.91 per cent, TCS 0.86 per cent and Gail 0.84 per cent. BSE Small-cap index closed higher by 0.53% at 15,544. "Both the benchmark indices are now witnessing firm sentiments and we expect the Indian equities to continue with firm trades in the second half of the session as well".