Banking shares surge

Banking shares advanced on fresh buying in anticipation that a sharp decline in crude oil prices may ease inflationary pressures.

Meanwhile, BSE Sensex was up 358.31 points or 2.45% to 14,936.18.

The BSE Bankex was up 483.52 points or 7.14% at 7,251.13. IDBI Bank (up 9.45% to Rs 89.20), ICICI Bank (up 8.99% to Rs 698.05), Axis Bank (up 8.35% to Rs 765), Bank of Baroda (up 7.62% to Rs 299.50), Canara Bank (up 7.21% to Rs 214.15) HDFC Bank (up 6.98% to Rs 1186.05), Indus Ind Bank (up 6.78% to Rs 64.60), Union Bank (up 6.69% to Rs 150), Kotak Bank (up 6.22% to Rs 589) and Karnataka Bank (up 50.91% to Rs 142.40), surged.

The BSE Bankex outperformed the market over the past one month till 4 August 2008, rising 16.27% compared to the Sensex's rise of 8.35%. It had, however, underperformed the market in the past one quarter, declining 25.54% compared to Sensex's decline of 16.09%.

Crude Oil touched a low of $118 per barrel on the NYMEX on Tuesday, 5 August 2008, its lowest level since 5 May 2008.