Sensex strong, Midcap rises 1%; Lupin, Sun Pharma soar 3-4%

The market extended gains in afternoon trade, with the Sensex rising around 250 points on further buying in banking & financials, healthcare and FMCG stocks. The rally was also on hopes of rate cut by Reserve Bank of India on February 8.

The 30-share BSE Sensex gained 242.31 points or 0.86 percent at 28482.83 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rallied 71.35 points or 0.82 percent to 8812.30. 

The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices climbed 1 percent each on strong breadth.

Lupin was biggest gainer among Sensex stocks, up 4 percent followed by Sun Pharma and ICICI Bank with 3 percent upside. ITC, Tata Motors, Asian Paints, Axis Bank and HUL up over a percent while Dr Reddy's Labs remained under pressure, down 1.8 percent.

Gold prices edged up on technical buying and a weaker dollar after mixed US jobs data late last week muted expectations for near-term interest rate hikes.

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