The Indian stock market opened on a firm note and gained in strength as the session progressed, as investors indulged in hectic buying at several counters, amid easing worries about global economy following recent encouraging data out of the U.S. and China. Expectations that the Indian economy will see a significant growth in 2013-2014, and some forecasts to that effect from leading rating agencies aided sentiment to a notable extent.
Oil and FMCG stocks mostly ended on a high note. Metal stocks were in demand following the Supreme Court permitting the Karnataka Government to re-open some mines in the state. Bank, capital goods, consumer durables, power and PSU stocks also closed with impressive gains.
Automobile stocks retreated a bit after a good spell, but came off their lows towards the closing minutes. Select healthcare and realty stocks ended on a mixed note, while information technology stocks were mostly subdued.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which opened with a positive gap of around 65 points at 19,478.67, vaulted to 19,706.03 and finally ended the day with a gain of 269.69 points or 1.39% at 19,683.23. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5945.70, slightly off the day's high of 5952.85, gaining 82.40 points or 1.41%.
Jindal Steel & Power ended with a strong gain of 5.8%. Tata Steel, Coal India, SAIL, JSW Steel and Sesa Goa gained 1.3% - 2.5%.
HDFC gained a little over 4%. GAIL India, HDFC Bank, Larsen & Toubro, ITC and Mahindra & Mahindra ended higher by 2% - 3%. Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, ONGC, Hero Motocorp, State Bank of India, Cipla, Hindustan Unilever and Bajaj Auto gained 1% - 2%. Tata Power, Bharti Airtel, BHEL, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and NTPC also closed on a firm note.
IDFC, Siemens, BPCL, Kotak Bank, Jaiprakash Associates, Asian Paints, Ultratech Cement, Power Grid Corporation, Lupin and Reliance Infrastructure ended with strong gains.
IT majors Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro missed out on the rally and ended lower by 0.4% - 1.2%. Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, DLF, Ambuja Cements, Grasim Industries and Hindalco also closed weak.
Larsen & Toubro and Mahindra & Mahindra moved higher on stock specific stories. After trading hours on Thursday, the company announced it has signed an agreement with CMI Energy, Belgium for extension of L&T's license territory to manufacture and supply small heat recovery steam generators installed behind gas turbines below 80 megawatts to South East Asia and the Middle East.
Oil stocks surged higher following a sharp decline in crude oil prices. Mahindra & Mahindra rose following an announcement from the company that workmen at its Nashik plant have called off the a proposed strike from 11 March 2013.
Midcap and smallcap stocks had a good outing. The market breadth was fairly strong.