Sensex up 150 points over sliding crude oil prices

Mumbai (IANS): Amid mixed Asian cues and falling crude oil prices the benchmark Sensex extended its early gains to 150 points during the afternoon session of the trade on Wednesday.

Apart from the export-oriented IT and pharma stocks all other sectors gained on both NSE and BSE.

At 1.20 p.m., the Sensex traded 152.40 points higher at 36,499.48 and the Nifty50 traded 61.40 points or 0.56 percent up at 10,970.10, from the previous close.

The domestic currency continued to gain against the US dollar on Wednesday after registering a Rs 1.11 rise on Tuesday -- the strongest single day gain in five years. 

Rupee was trading at Rs 70.16 against the US dollar from its previous close of 70.44 after the benchmark Brent Crude slipped to $56.68 a barrel.

"Healthy foreign fund inflow and lower crude prices which is at a 52-week low have helped the currency. The Indian rupee has been the best emerging market currency in the past week," said Anindya Banerjee, Deputy Vice President for Currency and Interest Rates with Kotak Securities.

"Indian bonds, equity and the currency has outperformed other major markets by a big margin," Banerjee said. 

Investors are, however, still cautious about the ongoing Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting later in the day. The committee is widely expected to raise interest rates which has kept the sentiments tepid, analysts said.

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