New Delhi, Jan. 13 -- Banking stocks led the gains today as benchmark index Sensex remained about 300 points away from 50,000 level. Bank Nifty index was up 1%, hitting a new high of 32,683. Among banking stocks, ICICI Bank was up 2% while Axis Bank rose 1% while Bank of Baroda and SBI led gains among the PSU lenders, rising about 4% and 3% respectively. Sensex was up over 200 points at 49,728 while Nifty was up 0.6% at 14,636.

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A fall in vegetable prices helped India's retail inflation to ease in December to within the central bank's 2% to 6% target range, although some economists said that RBI is unlikely to cut the policy repo rate soon.

Shares of Bharti Airtel rose 5% and was the biggest boost to the Nifty 50 in...