After a slightly listless start, the Indian stock market surged higher thanks to some hectic buying in several blue chip stocks, and, despite a mild bout of selling pressure in late afternoon trade, managed to close with moderate gains on Wednesday.
Though results from India Inc. were a bit mixed, a fairly steady trend in global markets amid hopes of an economic recovery in the U.S. following the victory of Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential election, aided sentiment to an extent.
Expectations of some monetary easing early next year rose following the Reserve Bank of India's governor Subba Rao's statement on Tuesday, and triggered some buying in rate sensitive bank, realty and automobile stocks today.
Information technology, healthcare and capital goods stocks too had a fairly good outing. Select PSU, FMCG and power stocks moved higher. Metal and consumer durables stocks ended off their highs, while oil stocks were mostly subdued. Several stocks from midcap and smallcap segments attracted buyers.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which rose to 18,973.43, ended the session with a gain of 85.03 points or 0.45% at 18,902.41. The broader 50-stock Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5760.10, nearly 50 points off the day's low of 5711.40, gaining 35.70 points or 0.62%.
HDFC and State Bank of India ended nearly 2% up from their previous closing levels. BHEL notched up a gain of 1.7%. Hindalco ended higher by a little over 1%. ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, NTPC, Tata Steel, Sterlite Industries, GAIL India, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Hero Motocorp, Bajaj Auto, Sun Pharmaceutical Industres and Wipro also ended on a firm note.
Jaiprakash Associates ended stronger by over 5.5%. Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, IDFC and DLF gained more than 2.5%. HCL Technologies, Ambuja Cements, Reliance Infrastructure, Grasim Industries, Axis Bank, Asian Paints and Sesa Goa also closed on a positive note.
Tata Power ended 2.4% down on weak results. Bharti Airtel (down 0.8%) too closed weak following lower earnings in the July - September 2012 quarter. Coal India and Reliance Industries lost 0.8% and 0.5%, respectively. Siemens, ACC and BPCL also closed weak.
Tata Communications, Oil India and Cadila Healthcare drifted lower on weak results. Jubilant Foodworks, Indraprastha Gas, TNPL, Reliance Capital, ABB and Puravankara Projects attracted some strong buying thanks to impressive quarterly results.
The market breadth was positive. Out of 3008 stocks traded on BSE, 1672 stocks moved up. 1205 stocks declined and 131 stocks ended flat.