After shedding over 186 points, the BSE Sensex resumed higher at 20,600.58 points and firmed up further to a high of 20,725.04. It settled at 20,700.75, showing a sharp gain of 164.11 points of 0.80 per cent.
Today’s gain is its fifth rise in six days and drove the index to end 333.93 points higher for the week, which saw optimism over interim budget announcements. It had shed points in each of the previous three weeks.
Axis Bank, L&T, ITC and Tata Steel led the 21 Sensex gainers. Bharti Airtel was the biggest among nine laggards.
Among banking stocks, Axis Bank jumped 2.85 per cent, ICICI Bank rose 1.62 per cent and SBI spurted 1.46 per cent.
The IT pack also witnessed activity. HCL Tech ended nearly 3 per cent higher on reports that promoter Shiv Nadar is planning to exit the firm. However, HCL Corp, which controls HCL Tech, later denied any such plan.
The NSE 50-share Nifty spurted by 64 points, or 1.05 per cent, to end at 6,155.45. For the week, the NSE barometer gained 107.10 points — also its first weekly gain in four.
“The mid cap index was more active with buying seen in several of its constituents. For the week, benchmark indices gained by about 1.5 per cent but were largely within the band of the past few weeks. The F&O expiry next week can provide some more volatility to the markets,” said Dipen Shah, Head- Private Client Group Research, Kotak Securities.
Buoyant global cues after the US manufacturing activity, which hit its highest in nearly four years, boosted investor sentiment in domestic market. Positive comments by IMF about India’s growth outlook also aided buying.
Indications of persistent capital flows provided support. Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs. 206.46 crore, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.
Most of Asian stock barometers ended higher taking cues from Wall Street, after a larger-than-forecast climb of US manufacturing in February tempered concerns about global growth.
Indices in Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea finished higher by 0.43 per cent to 2.88 per cent. China’s Shanghai Composite, however, fell 1.17 per cent.
European markets were also trading higher in early trade as indices in France and the UK firmed up by 0.19 per cent to 0.46 per cent while Germany’s DAX was quoting lower.
In the Sensex, major gainers were Axis Bank 2.85 per cent, Larsen & Toubro 1.89 per cent, ITC 1.83 per cent, Tata Steel 1.80 per cent and ICICI Bank 1.62 per cent.
SBI 1.46 per cent, Tata Motors 1.21 per cent, Wipro 1.10 per cent, Infosys 1.02 per cent and Bajaj Auto 0.96 per cent were also among notable gainers.
However, Bharti Airtel dropped by 2.91 per cent, followed by Sun Pharma 0.82 per cent and Maruti Suzuki 0.52 per cent.