With data showing a drop in core inflation raising hopes of a rate cut from the central bank later this month, investors went on a buying spree, and the resultant jump in values of stock prices, especially of those from the banking space, lifted the benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty to a buoyant close on Thursday.
A fairly steady trend in European markets too contributed to the bullish mood on the Indian bourses in afternoon trade. Earlier, after opening on a slightly positive note, the market faltered and plunged sharply into the red this morning, with a section of investors pressing heavy sales at several blue chip counters.
According to the data released by the government, the annual rate of inflation, based on the monthly wholesale price index, edged up to 6.84% in February 2013 from 6.62% in January 2013. The government also revised upwards WPI inflation for December 2012 to 7.31% from 7.18% reported earlier. Build up inflation in the financial year so far was 5.71% compared to a build up of 6.56% in the corresponding period of the previous year, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry said in a statement.
The non-food manufacturing inflation or core inflation slowed to 3.8% in February 2013 from 4.1% in January 2013, the latest data showed.
Bank and realty stocks turned in a sparkling performance. Oil, capital goods, metal and PSU stocks were among the other star gainers. Shares from power, information technology and FMCG sectors moved up as well. After trading mixed for a long time, automobile stocks edged higher in the final hour. Healthcare stocks ended on a subdued note, while consumer durables stocks mostly closed weak.
The 30-share BSE sensitive index Sensex, which plunged to 19,179.33 around mid morning, rallied to 19,604.70 later on in the session and finally ended the day with a gain of 207.89 points or 1.07% at 19,570.44. The broader 50-stock Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5908.95, recording a gain of 57.75 points or almost 1%. The Nifty touched a low of 5791.75 and a high of 5920.15 during the day.
State Bank of India ended stronger by over 3.5%. ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank, the private sector bank majors, gained around 2.3%, despite seeing a weak spell earlier in the day.
Maruti Suzuki ended stronger by nearly 3.5%. Tata Power notched up a gain of 2.9%. Hindustan Unilever, Reliance Industries and Larsen & Toubro gained around 2%.
Jindal Steel & Power, Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services, ONGC, BHEL, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Sterlite Industries, Mahindra & Mahindra, HDFC, Cipla and Infosys also closed on a firm note.
Ranbaxy Laboratories, Asian Paints, Reliance Infrastructure, Jaiprakash Associates, HCL Technologies, DLF, Kotak Bank, IDFC, Ambuja Cements, ACC and Siemens gained 1% - 3.5%.
Bajaj Auto declined by 2.2%. GAIL India ended lower by around 2%. Bharti Airtel, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Hero Motocorp and Coal India also closed weak.
The market breadth was almost even at close. Out of 2984 stocks traded on BSE, 1423 stocks moved up. 1444 stocks declined and 117 stocks ended flat.