Mumbai: The benchmark Sensex surged 388 points to post the second-biggest gain among Asian stock indices today as crude oil prices fell after Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme to get relief from sanctions.

State-owned refiners, which benefit from cheaper oil, advanced and the BSE Oil & Gas sectoral index rose 1.73 per cent. Capital goods, bank and realty stocks led 12 of the 13 sectoral indices higher.

BHEL and ICICI Bank were the biggest of the 27 gainers on the 30-share Sensex, which snapped three days of losses and helped investors gain Rs 1 lakh crore.

The S&P BSE Sensex, opened on a strong note and stayed firm through the day. It shot up 387.69 points, or 1.92 per cent to end at 20,605.08 — close to the day’s highs.

Benchmark WTI and Brent crude oil prices fell after Iran agreed to limit its nuclear programme to get some relief from sanctions, raising the possibility that curbs on its oil exports would soon be lifted.

Lower crude prices would help ease inflation in India, which imports about 80 per cent of its crude oil requirements.

“It would cut down on its growing current account deficit by reducing the import costs on crude oil,” said Raghu Kumar, Co-founder of RKSV. “Although the deal is an interim deal, it shows promise that crude oil prices might remain low for the foreseeable future, a positive sign for the Indian economy.”

The CNX Nifty rose 2 per cent, advancing the most among Asian stock indices, and climbed 119.90 points to 6,115.35. The SX40 index on the MCX Stock Exchange closed up 205.09 points at 12,231.25.

State-owned oil refiners Hindustan Petroleum surged 6 per cent, Bharat Petroleum added 4.45 per cent and Indian Oil advanced 2.52 per cent. State-run explorer ONGC rose 3.7 per cent on prospects that lower oil prices would ease its fuel subsidy burden.

The markets may remain volatile over the next few days on alternate bouts of buying and selling due to the expiry of derivative contracts on November 28.

Barring China and Hong Kong, Asian stocks closed with gains on the Iran agreement.

European stock markets were higher in early trade after the Iran deal and as investors awaited a report on US pending-home sales. The FTSE 100 Index, France’s CAC 40 and the German Stock Index DAX moved up.

The rupee strengthened against the dollar for the second day and closed 37 paise higher at 62.50.

“With rupee too trading strong, there was more cheer for the equity markets,” said Jignesh Chaudhary, Head Of Research at Veracity Broking Services.

In the domestic market, the major gainers on the  Sensex were BHEL (5.22 pc), ICICI Bank (5.07 pc), Larsen & Toubro (3.97 pc), ONGC (3.7 pc) and State Bank of India (3.69 pc).

Other advancing shares included Tata Motors (3.28 pc), HDFC (3.14 pc), HDFC Bank (2.66 pc), ITC (2.56 pc), Maruti Suzuki (2.43 pc), Hero MotoCorp (2.4 pc) and Bajaj Auto (2.37 pc).

Among the S&P BSE sectoral indices, Capital Goods rose 3.82 pc, followed by Bankex 3.63 pc, Realty 2.28 pc, PSU 2.26 pc, FMCG 2.1 pc and Auto 2.05 pc.

The market breadth turned positive as 1,423 stocks ended higher, 1,027 finished lower and 166 ruled steady. Total turnover rose to Rs 1,833.99 crore from Rs 1,731.07 crore last Friday.

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