After a firm start, the Indian stock market retreated a bit on mild selling pressure, but gained in strength as the session progressed, and finally, despite some selling at a few front line counters, managed to sign off on a fairly buoyant note on Friday.
The recent announcements on additional incentives to boost exports and the statement from finance minister that the economy will grow at a healthy rate thanks to strong fundamentals and high savings rate helped lift sentiment to an extent. Investors were also betting on hopes the U.S. government would come out with measures to fix the fiscal cliff.
The BSE benchmar Sensex, which spurted to 19,465.74, ended the day with a gain of 121.04 points or 0.63% at 19,444.84. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5908.35, recording a gain of 38.25 points or 0.65%. The Nifty touched a high of 5915.75.
PSU oil stocks had a good ride up the charts today, amid expectations of a hike in fuel prices. Mirroring strong buying in the oil space, the BSE Oil & Gas index spurted 2.4%.
Information technology stocks started off on a subdued note, but gained in strength as the session progressed. Select metal, consumer durables, capital goods and power stocks posted impressive gains.
Automobile, FMCG and realty stocks found modest support. Bank and healthcare stocks mostly ended flat, after a choppy ride. While several stocks from the midcap space moved up smartly, buying was quite selective in the smallcap segment.
Reliance Industries (2.8%) and ONGC (2.5%) rose sharply and contributed substantially to the market's bright close. Infosys chipped in with a smart gain of 1.4%, while Wipro and Tata Consultancy Services ended higher by around 1.3%.
Sterlite Industries gained around 2.3%. Hero Motocorp, Maruti Suzuki, GAIL India, Hindalco, HDFC, NTPC, BHEL, Hindustan Unilever, ICICI Bank and Tata Power also closed on a firm note.
BPCL, Indian Oil Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation closed sharply higher on sustained buying interest. IDFC, Cairn India, Sesa Goa, Asian Paints, Siemens and Ambuja Cements also ended higher.
Axis Bank, State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Tata Steel, Mahindra & Mahindra, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and Dr Reddy's Laboratories ended weak.
Cholamandalam Investment, Kalpataru Power Transmission, Suzlon Energy, Union Bank of India and Karnataka Bank moved higher on stock specific news.
Pantaloon Retail gained nearly 7% on impressive volumes. Bharti Infratel made a weak debut. The stock ended at Rs 191, down more than 13% from the issue price of Rs 220. The Bharti Infratel counter on the National Stock Exchange clocked a volume of over 35 million shares today.
The market breadth was marginally positive. Out of 3019 stocks traded on BSE, 1514 stocks moved up. 1371 stocks declined and 134 stocks ended flat.