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Sensex and Nifty started on a higher note today.New Delhi: Indian equity benchmarks on Monday traded higher in opening deals led by gains in automobile and consumer durable stocks.Trends on the Nifty Futures on Singapore Exchange (SGX Nifty) indicated a flat start for the domestic indices.The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 228 points or 0.42 per cent to 54,555 in early trade, while the broader NSE Nifty moved 55 points or 0.34 per cent up to trade at 16,322.Mid- and small-cap shares were trading on a strong note as Nifty Midcap 100 climbed 0.76 per cent and small-cap gained 0.22 per cent.13 out of the 15 sector gauges — compiled by the National Stock Exchange — were trading in the green. Sub-indexes Nifty Auto and Nifty Consumer Durables were outperforming the NSE index by rising as much as 2.64 per cent and 1.10 per cent, respectively.On the stock-specific front, Maruti was the top gainer as the stock soared 3.85 per cent to Rs 7,878.60. M&M, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Motors and NTPC were also among the gainers.The overall market breadth stood positive as 1,214 shares were advancing while 477 were declining on BSE.On the 30-share BSE index, Maruti, M&M, Asian Paints, Titan, NTPC, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Dr Reddy’s, IndusInd Bank and Sun Pharma were among the top gainers.In contrast, Tata Steel, ITC, Tech Mahindra, PowerGrid, Bharti Airtel, HCL Tech and Axis Bank were trading in the red.Also, shares of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) fell 2.21 per cent to trade at Rs 808 against its previous close of Rs 826.25. LIC made a tepid debut at the stock exchanges on May 17, listing at a discount of 8.62 per cent.Sensex had surged 1,534 points or 2.91 per cent to close at 54,326 on Friday, while Nifty had moved 457 points or 2.89 per cent up to settle at 16,266.

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