Sensex breaches 19,000-level; zooms over 170 points

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Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex breached the crucial 19,000-level in early trade Thursday on sustained buying by funds and retailers on expectations of more policy reforms by the government amid a firming trend in Asian region.

The 30-share barometer added 172.21 points, or 0.91 percent, to 19,041.90 with stocks of banking, realty, oil&gas sectors leading the rise.

The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty moved up by 49.85 points, or 0.87 per cent, to 5,781.10.

Trading sentiment remained bullish on continued buying by funds and retail investors, anticipating announcement of more economic reforms by the government, market experts said.

Asian shares steadied on Thursday and the safe-haven dollar eased after positive US data, leaving investors waiting for more economic indicators from the world's largest economy later in the day and a European Central Bank policy meeting.

Wall Street ended modestly higher on Wednesday on stronger-than-expected US labor and service-sector data, but the Dow industrials were hobbled by a slide in Hewlett-Packard. 

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