Riding on the strength of IT bellwether Infosys, which came out with better - than - expected quarterly results, the Indian stock market ended on a firm note on Friday.
It was an upbeat start for the market with Infosys reporting fairly encouraging numbers a few minutes before the opening bell. Though stocks from several other sectors too moved up smartly in early trades, only those from capital goods and healthcare sectors managed to sail along with IT stocks in positive territory.
Even as they kept buying IT stocks and a few front liners from capital goods and healthcare sectors, investors appeared a bit wary of going on any aggressive buying during the session, perhaps choosing to wait for the release of industrial production data for May, due after closing hours. A firm trend in European markets aided sentiment to an extent.
The Sensex very nearly breached the magical 20,000 mark - it hit a high of 19,991.94 in late afternoon trade - and eventually closed at 19,958.47, recording a gain of 282.41 points or 1.44%. The Nifty closed with a gain of 73.90 points or 1.25% at 6009, off the day's high of 6019. Both Sensex and Nifty hit their best levels since May 31, 2013.
Infosys, which shot up to Rs 2905 in opening trades, ended the session with a gain of nearly 11% at Rs 2802.75. Infosys Limited reported a 3.7% year-on-year increase in its first-quarter net profit, at Rs 2374 crore for the quarter ended 30 June 2013. In the corresponding quarter last year, the IT major has posted a net profit of Rs 2289 crore.
Infosys left the financial year 2014 dollar revenue growth guidance unchanged, maintaining a forecast for 6-10% revenue growth. In rupee terms, Infosys expects revenue to grow at 13-17% in financial year 2014.
On a sequential basis, Infosys' net profit for the first quarter saw a marginal decline of 0.8% while the revenues witnessed a growth of 7.8%. The Earnings per share came in at Rs 41.54 for the quarter ended June 30, 2013, witnessing a y-o-y growth of 3.7%.
Wipro notched up a gain of 3.4% and Tata Consultancy Services ended nearly 3% up. Tech Mahindra (5.2%), Mphasis (5.2%), MindTree (3.6%), Oracle Financial Services (3%), HCL Technologies (2.5%) and Hexaware Technologies (1.8%) also ended on a high note.
Larsen & Toubro, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Tata Motors and Reliance Industries ended higher by 2% - 2.8%. HDFC Bank gained nearly 2%. Bharti Airtel, NTPC, Cipla, Tata Power, IDFC, Kotak Bank, BPCL, Reliance Infrastructure and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries also ended on a bright note.
Pipavav Defence, Elder Pharmaceuticals, Kalindee Rail Nirman and Reliance Capital moved higher on stock specific news.
The market breadth was a bit weak. Out of 2447 stocks traded on BSE, 1223 stocks declined. 1076 stocks moved up and 148 stocks ended flat.
In economic news, car sales declined by an annual 9% in June as demand continued to suffer due to rising ownership costs and sluggish economic growth, according to the data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
Domestic passenger car sales were 1,39,632 units in June this year from 1,53,450 units in the same month of 2012, with demand dropping for the eighth straight month.
Meanwhile, motorcycle sales in last month declined by 9.16% to 7,99,139 units from 8,79,721 units in the same month previous year. Total two-wheeler sales in June 2013 declined by 4.56% to 11,16,424 units from 11,69,741 units in the same period of previous year.
The data revealed that total sales of commercial vehicles declined by 13.45% to 56,197 units from 64,928 units in the year-ago period, and total sales of vehicles across categories declined 5.10% to 14,07,767 units in June 2013 as against 14,83,443 units in the same month of 2012.
Investors appeared to be waiting for the release of industrial output data. According to a government website, key macroeconomic data including gross domestic product and index of industrial production numbers will now be released after market hours, in an apparent bid by the government to prevent any knee-jerk reaction to such information. According to reports, the government has taken this decision in view of deteriorating markets and the depreciating rupee.