It was a good ride up north for stocks on the Indian bourses on Tuesday with the bulls making their presence felt right through the day, lapping up stocks from across various sectors, amid expectations that the government will speed up reforms.
A fairly steady trend in Asian markets and a strong start on the European bourses amid easing worries about Greek debt crisis following the eurozone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund clinching a deal to reduce Greece's long term debt, aided sentiment to a significant extent.
The bulls had another trigger in the form of a stable rating given to India's sovereign credit by Moody's.
The Sensex opened with a positive gap of nearly 80 points at 18,616.55 - it remained its low for the session - and hit a high of 18,862.70 before it settled down at 18,842.08 for the day, recording a gain of 305.07 points or 1.65%.
The broader 50-stock Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5727.45, slightly off the day's high of 5733.20, recording a gain of 91.55 points or 1.62%.
Realty, consumer durables and FMCG stocks mostly ended with strong gains. The BSE Realty index and the Consumer Durables index gained around 3.2% and the FMCG barometer moved up by 2.12%.
Several stocks from banking, metal, information technology, oil and healthcare sectors too ended on a high note. There were sharp gains for some automobile and capital goods stocks as well. A few stocks from power and PSU sections moved higher.
The mood was so bullish that only NTPC and ONGC, among the Sensex components, ended in negative territory today. While NTPC lost around 0.4%, ONGC ended marginally down. In the Nifty index, Power Grid Corporation eased by about 1.5%.
Bharti Airtel ended with a handsome gain of 5.3%. Sterlite Industries notched up a gain of 3.6%. HDFC, HDFC Bank, Hindalco, Cipla and ITC moved up by over 2.5%. Infosys gained 2.2% and Bajaj Auto ended higher by a little over 2%.
Jindal Steel & Power, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, BHEL, State Bank of India, Larsen & Toubro, Wipro, Hindustan Unilever, Mahindra & Mahindra and Hero Motocorp also ended on a firm note.
Jaiprakash Associates and BPCL ended stronger by 4.4% and 4.2%, respectively. Reliance Infrastructure moved up by over 3%. Sesa Goa, Ambuja Cements, DLF, Axis Bank, Lupin, Punjab National Bank, Kotak Bank, Siemens, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Ultratech Cement and Asian Paints also moved up smartly.
United Spirits (7.2%) topped the chart, clocking a turnover of nearly Rs 1370 crore, on a volume of over 6.72 million shares. Pantaloon Retail (3%) also rose sharply on huge volumes. Jet Airways (down 3.3%) declined after the company said that it would not comment on news about Abu Dhabi-based Etihad buying a stake in the company, citing the reports as 'speculative'.
Hindustan Copper tumbled again and fell below the Oper Offer price, fixed by the government. The stock ended the day with a loss of nearly 10% at Rs 153.45.
IndusInd Bank and Suzlon Energy moved up sharply on stock specific news. While IndusInd Bank surged higher after the company opened the QIP issue, Suzlon Energy shares moved higher on reports the company has been admitted to corporate debt restructuring process.
The market breadth was positive. Out of 3017 stocks traded on BSE, 1745 stocks moved up. 1146 stocks declined and 126 stocks ended flat.