The Indian stock market opened on a firm note on Thursday and kept moving higher and higher as the session progressed, with investors indulging in some hectic buying right through the day, betting on hopes the U.S. Federal Reserve will continue with its asset purchase program.
The rupee's upmove against the U.S. dollar and a firm trend in Asian markets too aided sentiment to a significant extent. The partially convertible Indian rupee rose to a near one-week high against the U.S. dollar. The rupee was hovering around 61.85 to the dollar, a few minutes before the close of the equity markets.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which zoomed to 19,929.24, ended up 384.92 points or 1.97% at 9,902.07. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5909.70, slightly off the day's high of 5917.60, gaining 129.65 points or 2.24%.
Metal and bank stocks turned in a sparkling performance. Mirroring their surge, the BSE Metal and Bankex jumped nearly 4% and 3.3%, respectively.
Several stocks from capital goods, information technology, automobile, oil, realty and PSU sectors posted handsome gains. There were sharp gains fro some power, consumer durables and healthcare tocks as well. Midcap and smallcap stocks too had a good outing.
Sesa Goa, the top gainer in the Sensex, ended higher by about 7.2%. Hindalco moved up 4.4%, Tata Steel and Jindal Steel & Power added 3.7% and 3.6%, respectively and Coal India ended 1.8% up.
Banking sector heavyweights HDFC Bank (4%), ICICI Bank (3%) and State Bank of India (1%) closed on a firm note.
Automobile stocks Bajaj Auto (5.1%), Tata Motors (2.8%), Maruti Suzuki (2.4%), Mahindra & Mahindra (2.2%) and Hero Motocorp (1.7%) closed with strong gains.
Tata Power, Tata Consultancy Services, Larsen & Toubro, Wipro, Reliance Industries, GAIL India, HDFC, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, BHEL and ONGC gained 1.6% - 4%. Cipla, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Infosys and Bharti Airtel closed modestly higher.
Jaiprakash Associates, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Ambuja Cements, NMDC, Ultra Tech Cement, Grasim Industries, IndusInd Bank, ACC, Asian Paints, HCL Technologies and Cairn India gained 3% - 7%.
Ranbaxy Laboratories, Kotak Bank, Punjab National Bank, Lupin and DLF also closed on a firm note.
FMCG majors Hindustan Unilever and ITC missed out on the rally and closed lower by 1.8% and 1.1%, respectively.
Jet Airways rose sharply on reports the market regulator SEBI has approved the airliner's proposed sale of 24% stake to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways.
Steel Strips Wheels, Zensar Technologies and Escorts rose sharply on stock specific news.
The market breadth was strong. Out of 2560 stocks traded on BSE, 1471 stocks moved up. 937 stocks declined and 152 stocks ended flat.