A positive close on Wall Street last Friday and Anil Ambani's call to his elder brother Mukesh for amicable settlement of various disputes between them set up a bright start for stocks on the major Indian bourse this morning. And then, the bulls got more ammunition to carry on their good work when the government released the industrial production data.
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The market did retreat a bit and shed some gains an hour past noon, but bounced back with more vigour around mid afternoon and there was no stopping thereafter till the final bell. Better than expected industrial production data, hopes of strong results from India Inc. and higher European markets and US index futures kept the momentum going right through the afternoon today.
The Sensex, which opened with a positive gap of around 45 points at 16,687.32 and zoomed to 17,068.78 in late afternoon trade, ended the day at 17,026.67 with a big gain of 384.01 points or 2.31%. The Nifty closed stronger by 109.05 points or 2.21% at 5054.25, a few points off the day's high of 5068.05.
Information technology, consumer durables, oil, bank, FMCG and metal stocks rallied sharply. Realty stocks lost their way for a while but bounced back swiftly to end on a firm note. Auto, power, pharma and capital goods stocks too posted sharp gains.
According to the data released around noon today, India's industrial output rose 10.4% in August from a year earlier. The rise was far higher than estimates and the steepest rise in 22 months. Manufacturing production rose 10.2% in August from a year earlier.
The mood was so bullish today that just three stocks, Hero Honda (down 0.9%), Reliance Communications (down 0.6%) and BHEL (down 0.2%), among the Sensex components ended weak today. Among Nifty stocks, Ambuja Cements (down 3.35%) and GAIL India (down 1.35%) declined.
State Bank of India ended with a gain of 5.2%. Reliance Infrastructure moved up 5%. Wipro, ITC, Tata Consultancy Services, Reliance Industries, Mahindra & Mahindra, Infosys Technologies, Maruti Suzuki, Sun Pharmaceuticals, Tata Steel, HDFC, Bharti Airtel, DLF, ICICI Bank, Sterlite Industries and ONGC gained 2% - 4%. HDFC Bank, Larsen & Toubro, Tata Power, Jaiprakash Associates and Hindustan Unilever also closed with notable gains.
Reliance Capital gained 4.85%. Punjab National Bank, Jindal Steel and Tata Communications gained over 3%. Unitech, Idea Cellular, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Reliance Power, Suzlon Energy, SAIL, Nalco, HCL Technologies, Siemens, Cipla and ABB also rose sharply today.
Besides a number of large cap stocks, scores of midcap and smallcap stocks too ended with handsome gains today. The market breadth was strong right through the day. Out of 2829 stocks traded on BSE, 1627 stocks closed on a positive note. 1108 stocks declined and 94 stocks ended flat.