sify-Hectic buying in the banking space after the Cabinet gave its nod to making amendments to Banking Regulation Act lifted key Indian stock indices Sensex and theto a buoyant close on Thursday. here were gainers from other sectors too, but it was the sterling performance of bank stocks that drove the market up on a day in which markets in Asia were somewhat sluggish after Wall Street ended on a mixed note overnight, reacting a statement from the Federal Reserve that hinted at gradual rate hikes. Major European markets, however, edged higher with good earnings reports and expectations of a victory for Emmanuel Macro in the French Presidential Election triggering buying interest. The BSE benchmark Sensex ended up 231.41 points or 0.77% at 30,126.21 after rising to a high of 30,169.95 intraday. The Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange, which rose to 9365.65, ended at 9359.90, gaining 47.95 points or 0.51%. In the , the rupee was trading at 64.18 against the U.S. dollar around late afternoon, down 3 paise from its previous close of 64.15 a dollar. Besides bank stocks, shares from consumer durables and fertilizers sections were the stand out performers today. The BSE Bankex ended more than 2.3% up. The Nifty Bank gained 1.85%, Nifty PSU Bank gained 3.4% and Nifty PVT Bank advanced more than 2%. Besides Cabinet’s nod for the proposal to amend Banking Regulation Act, impressive results from ICICI Bank too contributed to the gains in the banking space. ICICI Bank nded 9.3% up. The bank’s standalone profit jumped 188.4% to Rs 2024.6 crore in the fourth quarter ended March 2017. However, bad loans increased sharply due to an account (Jaiprakash Associates) in cement sector.While higher net interest income drove profit up, a sharp fall in other income and operating income capped the upside. The bank’s board has recommended a dividend of Rs 2.50 per share, and an issue of bonus shares in the ratio of one equity share for every 10 equity shares. Among other stocks in the Bankex, Axis Bank gained 3.7%, State Bank of India advanced 3.3%, Bank of Baroda gained 3.3% and Punjab National Bank ended 3% up. Federal Bank edged up marginally, while Yes Bank, , IndusInd Bank and Kotak Bank ended lower. Canara Bank spurted more than 6%. IDFC Bank ended 1.3% up. Union Bank of India, Andhra Bank, Syndicate Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Allahabad Bank and IDBI Bank gained 2% – 8%.South Indian Bank and Karnataka Bank also ended on a high note. Most of the stocks in the fertilizers space recorded handsome gains. But Chambal Fertilizers & Chemicals turned in a splendid performance and ended with a hefty gain despite settling off the day’s high. TTK Prestige, Crompton Greaves, Symphony and Titan were the notable gainers in the consumer durables space. Among FMCG stocks, Ruchi Soya, EID Parry, Vadilal Industries, Dalmia Sugars, Emami, Gillette and Jyothy Lab were the prominent gainers besides sector heavyweights Hindustan Unilever and ITC. Adani Ports ended 3.7% up. Asian Paints, Hero Motocorp, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Larsen & Toubro, Wipro, Tata Steel, Bajaj Auto and GAIL India ended with sharp to moderate gains. Tata Motors declined by about 2.2% and ONGC eased by about 1.1%. Mahindra & Mahindra, Cipla, Reliance Industries, Tata Consultancy Services and HDFC also ended weak. albeit with less pronounced losses. Grasim Industries gained 4.2%. Tata Power, ACC, Aurobindo Pharma and Indiabulls Housing Finance also ended on a firm note, while Hindalco, HCL Technologies, Zee Entertainment Enterprises and Indian Oil Corporation ended notably lower. Out of 3005 stocks traded on BSE, 1453 advanced. 1406 stocks declined and 146 stocks ended flat.