Banks drive sensex to 17-month closing high

Mumbai, Oct. 16 : Banking stocks drove the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) sensex up by 0.74 percent to its highest close in 17 months despite witnessing a slide in metals maker Sterlite Industries after it sold debt checked the gains on Friday.

Sentiment was also upbeat as optimism about quarterly earnings of companies lifted world stocks towards highs last seen before the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

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