Amid rising expectations that the central bank will cut rates while unveiling its monetary policy on Friday, investors indulged in some hectic buying in stocks on the Indian bourses on Thursday.
Global cues were somewhat weak, but several blue chip stocks rose sharply in the Indian market today, with a significant drop in wholesale price inflation and slowing growth triggering hopes of some monetary easing by the central bank. Corporate results and sales data from automobile companies were somewhat mixed, but the mood on the bourses remained bullish right through the day.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which spurted to 19,792 after a listless start, ended the day with a gain of 231.59 points or 1.19% at 19,735.77. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5999.35, around 20 points off the day's high of 6019.45, recording a gain of 69.15 points or 1.17%.
Information technology stocks were back in demand, with some stock specific news triggering interest in the sector. Capital goods, power and oil stocks had a good outing.
Rate sensitive banking and realty stocks moved higher. Automobile stocks rebounded after a weak start, but failed to hold at higher levels, amid mixed sales data.
FMCG, PSU and healthcare sectors saw stock specific activity. Metal stocks were mostly subdued, due to weak commodity prices following some disappointing economic data from China.
Mahindra & Mahindra ended 3.5% up on reporting a sharp 38% surge in total tractor sales in April 2013, over the corresponding month last year. Larsen & Toubro gained 2.4%, buoyed by a big order win. HDFC moved up by about 2%. NTPC, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, State Bank of India, HDFC Bank and ITC gained 1.4% - 1.8%. ICICI Bank, Cipla, ONGC, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Steel and Jindal Steel & Power also closed on a firm note.
Reliance Infrastructure, HCL Technologies, Jaiprakash Associates, IDFC, Power Grid Corporation, Ambuja Cements and ACC gained 2% - 3.5%. Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Kotak Bank, IndusInd Bank, NMDC and Grasim Industries also closed notably higher.
Hero Motocorp and Bajaj Auto declined on weak sales in April. Bharti Airtel opened more than 3% down on disappointing quarterly results, and despite a spell in positive territory later on in the session, faltered again and ended on a weak note.
Kotak Bank, IDFC and Glaxosmithkline Consumer Healthcare moved higher on impressive results.
The market breadth was slightly positive. Out of 2511 stocks traded on BSE, 1271 stocks moved up. 1117 stocks declined and 123 stocks ended flat.