Inspired by a recovery in Asian markets and a good show by European stocks after recent big losses, investors, who were quite cautious early on in the session, indulged in some hectic buying in afternoon trade on the major Indian bourses today.
After a weak start and a subsequent fall to lower levels, the market started showing some signs of recovery around mid morning with select automobile and oil stocks showing the way. The recovery gathered momentum past noon with stocks from several other sectors forcing their way up smartly.
Realty and bank stocks declined sharply but the latter rebounded on strong buying support later on in the session to close well off the day's lows. A few stocks from the banking space even managed to post impressive gains. Realty stocks, however, ended mostly weak.
The Sensex, which declined to around 16,488 after a weak start, ended the day with a gain of 149.48 points or 0.89% at 16,862.81 around 32 points off the day's high. The Nifty settled at 5064.30, well off the day's low of 4942.90, recording a gain of 47.10 points or 0.94%.
While RIL's recent announcement about completion of BP's acquisition of a 30% stake in 21 oil and gas production sharing contracts wooed investors to the counter, ONGC moved higher on the back of reports that the company's follow-on offer may open on 20 September.
Capital goods stocks came back strongly after staying weak for well over three hours. Automobile and metal stocks too had a fairly good outing. FMCG and pharmaceuticals stocks ended on a mixed note. Consumer durables stocks started off on a firm note but lost their way as the session progressed. Midcap and smallcap stocks had a fairly good outing.
Jaiprakash Associates, Jindal Steel, Sterlite Industries and BHEL gained 2% - 2.8%. Larsen & Toubro, ICICI Bank, HDFC and HDFC Bank also closed notably higher. Wipro and Tata Consultancy Services chipped in with modest gains.
Ambuja Cements, up 5.2%, was the biggest gainer in the Nifty index. SAIL, Kotak Bank and HCL Technologies gained 3.3% - 3.6%. GAIL, IDFC, Axis Bank, ACC, BPCL and Punjab National Bank closed with sharp to moderate gains.
Realty stock DLF ended lower by 4.4%. Sun Pharmaceuticals, Reliance Infrastructure, Reliance Communications and Reliance Power lost 2% - 2.4%. Bharti Airtel, Reliance Capital, Power Grid Corporation, Siemens, State Bank of India, Bajaj Auto, Grasim Industries and Coal India also ended on a weak note.
Mangalore Refineries & Petrochemicals, BF Utilities, Century Textiles, Tata Global Beverages, Shriram Transport Finance, JP Infratech, Aurobindo Pharma and GMR Infrastructure also ended with strong gains.
Midcap stocks Hexaware, Polaris, Amtek Auto, Gujarat State Fertilizers, Whirlpool, Orchid Chemicals, India Cements, Usha Martin, Ruchi Soya, Anant Raj Industries and Cox & Kings posted impressive gains.
The market breadth was positive. Out of 2920 stocks traded on BSE, 1633 stocks posted gains. 1169 stocks declined and 118 stocks ended flat.