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Sensex surges over 600 pts at noon

Thanks to brisk buying in heavy-weight stocks like RIL and ICICI Bank, the index rises to 18,848.87.

business Updated: Feb 04, 2008 15:24 IST

The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex maintained its rally for the second straight session on Monday, as it surged over 600 points on heavy buying in fundamentally strong stocks.

The Sensex, which had surged over 594 points on Friday, spurted by 606.37 points to 18,848.87 at 12.30 pm following brisk buying in heavy-weight stocks like Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank.

The second wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty shot up by 217.10 points to 5,534.35 with most of the index heavyweights notching up significant ground.

Trading sentiment turned bullish following a rise in global stock markets after US manufacturing increased last month, easing concern world's biggest economy will fall into a recession.

The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index rose to 50.7 in January from 48.4 in the previous month.

Reliance, which runs the world's third biggest refinery, gained Rs 85.35 to Rs 2,627. ICICI, country's second-largest lender, climbed Rs 34.20 to Rs 1,231.95. The two stocks account for about a quarter of the Sensex's weight.