After a weak start and a subsequent choppy ride, the market rallied sharply in afternoon trade and ended the day on a buoyant note. Though worries about the impact of the U.S. government shutdown hurt stocks early on in the session, data showing a lower than expected trade deficit lifted sentiment to a significant extent and prompted investors to indulge in some heavy buying in afternoon trade.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which plunged nearly 160 points to 19,826.96 in early trade, soared to 20,277.74 in the final hour and eventually ended the session at 20,249.26, recording a gain of 265.65 points or 1.33%.
The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange ended up 79.05 points or 1.33% at 6007.45. The Nifty touched a low of 5877.10 and a high of 6015.50 during the day.
According to the provisional data released by the government today, trade deficit narrowed to 30-month low, at $6.7 billion, in September, the lowest level since March 2011, compared with $10.9 billion in August.
Merchandise exports rose by 11.15% year-on-year in September to $27.68 billion. Imports fell 18.1% year-on-year to $34.44 billion. Gold, silver import was at $0.8 billion vs $4.6 billion year-on-year.
Realty stocks were in demand following the central bank's decision to ease liquidity by cutting the marginal standing facility rate by 50 basis points. Mirroring their surge, the BSE Realty index moved up by around 4.3%. Healthcare, capital goods, bank, power and information technology stocks too posted strong gains. Oil stocks moved up as well.
Metal, automobile and FMCG stocks found support in late afternoon trade, while consumer durables stocks remained subdued almost right through the session. Midcap and smallcap stocks had a good outing.
BHEL, Tata Steel, Tata Power, Reliance Industries, Larsen & Toubro and Hero Motocorp gained over 2%. Jindal Steel & Power, ONGC, HDFC, ICICI Bank, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, NTPC and Bharti Airtel also closed on a firm note.
Realty stock DLF, up 6%, was the top gainer in the Nifty index. Jaiprakash Associates and Kotak Bank gained 4.4% and 4%, respectively. Lupin, NMDC, IndusInd Bank, Bank of Baroda, Asian Paints, Axis Bank, Punjab National Bank, Ultra Tech Cement and Ambuja Cements also closed with impressive gains.
The market breadth was positive. Out of 2608 stocks traded on BSE, 1409 stocks moved up. 1024 stocks declined and 154 stocks ended flat.