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Sensex and Nifty settled higher for the third straight session today.New Delhi: The Indian equity benchmark on Wednesday extended gains for the third straight session amid signs of progress in Ukraine-Russia peace talks. Most global equity markets reacted positively to Russia’s assurance to scale down its military operations near Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and surrounding cities.Back home, the 30-share BSE Sensex soared 740 points or 1.28 per cent to close at 58,684, while the broader NSE Nifty moved 173 points or 1 per cent higher to settle at 17,498.Mid- and small-cap shares finished on a strong note as Nifty Midcap 100 index rose 0.85 per cent lower and small-cap surged 0.97 per cent.11 out of the 15 sector gauges — compiled by the National Stock Exchange — ended in the green. Nifty Financial Services and Nifty Bank outperformed the index by rising as much as 1.96 per cent and 1.36 per cent, respectively.On the stock-specific front, HDFC Life was the top Nifty gainer as the stock surged 3.50 per cent to Rs 541.30.Bajaj Finserv, Tata Consumer Products, Bajaj Finance and PowerGrid were also among the gainers.The overall market breadth stood negative as 2,118 shares advanced while 1,284 declined on BSE.On the 30-share BSE index, Bajaj Finserv, M&M, Bajaj Finance, PowerGrid, HDFC, ICICI Bank and Nestle India were among the top gainers.Tata Consumer Products jumped 3 per cent to Rs 765.50 after deciding that it would merge Tata Coffee with itself. Tata Coffee shares surged as much as 8.54 per cent to Rs 213.In contrast, ITC, Tata Steel, Tech Mahindra, Bharti Airtel, Titan, Wipro and IndusInd Bank settled in the red.Also, shares of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) slipped 5.38 per cent to Rs 161.80 after the oil producer said the Centre would sell a stake of up to 1.5 per cent in the company.



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