After a positive start and a subsequent fall into negative territory, the Indian stock market rebounded amid selective buying in cautious trade, and ended with modest gains on Monday.
Though there were no positive triggers from the global front as most of the markets were closed for Easter holidays, the mood on the Indian bourses was slightly bullish today, amid hopes the economy will see a moderate recovery in the near to medium term.
Realty stocks were among the most sought after today, and mirroring their surge, the BSE Realty index jumped 5.4%. Capital goods, power and healthcare stocks were among the other major gainers.
Bank stocks lost their way after a slightly positive start, but found support in late afternoon trade. Select oil, consumer durables, information technology and PSU stocks ended with smart gains. FMCG stocks ended flat, while automobile and metal stocks traded weak.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which declined to 18,796.60 after rising to 18,959.48 early on in the session, ended the day with a gain of 28.98 points or 0.15% at 18,864.75. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5704.40, nearly 30 points off the day's low of 5675.90, recording a gain of 21.85 points or 0.38%.
According to a report released by the government today, the index of eight core industries fell 2.5% in February 2013 compared to their 7.7% growth in February 2012. The decline in growth in February 2013 was on account of negative growth witnessed in electricity generation and in the production of crude oil, coal, natural gas and fertilizers. The eight core industries have a combined weight of 37.90% in the Index of Industrial Production.
Dr Reddy's Laboratories ended stronger by 3.4%. BHEL moved up by 2.85% and Larsen & Toubro gained 2.2% on winning a big order. Infosys gained 1.85%, while Cipla, Hindustan Unilever and NTPC moved up by 1% - 1.2%.
State Bank of India, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, Reliance Industries, Bharti Airtel and GAIL India also closed on a firm note.
Realty stocks, led by sector heavyweight DLF (up 7.8%) had a good outing. HDIL, Sobha Developers, Godrej Properties, DB Realty, Unitech, Indiabulls Real Estate and Anant Raj Industries all ended with impressive gains.
Cairn India moved up by a little over 5%. Reliance Infrastructure notched up a gain of 4.3%. Jaiprakash Associates, Ranbaxy Laboratories, IndusInd Bank, Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank also closed with strong gains.
Sesa Goa lost around 2.7%. Tata Motors and Bajaj Auto declined by 1.6% and 1.5%, respectively. Jindal Steel & Power, NMDC, Coal India, Tata Power, ONGC, Ultratech Cement and IDFC lost 1% - 1.6%. HCL Technologies, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hero Motocorp and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries also closed weak.
KEC International, Natco Pharma, NHPC, Aurobindo Pharma, Shree Ganesh Jewellery saw some strong buying on stock specific news.
Novartis plunged after the Supreme Court ruled that Novartis’s Gleevec, a drug for leukaemia and other cancers, isn’t eligible for patent in India. The two-judge panel of Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash upheld Indian regulatory rulings that the drug wasn’t sufficiently innovative to merit patent, according to reports.
The market breadth was strong. Out of 2835 stocks traded on BSE, as many as 1874 stocks moved up. 869 stocks declined and 92 stocks ended flat.