Stock markets on Thursday bounced back, as investors hunted for bargains in recently battered bank, automobile and metal stocks and buying by domestic funds.
The 30-share Sensex stayed in the green throughout and hit the day’s high of 32,992.45 following all-round buying. It finally ended at 32,949.21, up 352.03 points, or 1.08 per cent — its biggest single-day gain since November 1, when it had surged 387.14 points. This is also the benchmark’s highest closing since November 30, when it had finished at 33,149.35. The index had lost 205 points on Wednesday after the Reserve Bank held the policy rate and raised the inflation forecast for the remainder of the financial year.
The broader NSE Nifty soared 122.60 points, or 1.22 per cent, on Thursday to close at 10,166.70 after shuttling between 10,182.65 and 10,061.90. This is its biggest single-day jump since May 25, when it had gained 149.20.
However, the rupee lost further ground to end at a near two-week low of 64.57 against the US currency, falling by 5 paise on sustained demand for the dollar from importers despite a strong rebound in equities. A strong dollar overseas alongside continued withdrawal of funds by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in the wake of impending Fed rate hike largely kept currency market highly volatile.
“The RBI’s neutral stance despite firm inflation expectations, and recent falls rendering stocks attractive, whetted the appetite of buyers,” said Anand James, chief market strategist, Geojit Financial Services. All the BSE sectoral indices closed in the green, led by telecom, consumer durables, power, capital goods, auto, oil & gas and realty. Stocks of state-run oil marketing companies such as HPCL, BPCL and IOC recorded gains of up to 1.83 per cent after global crude prices dropped by nearly 3 per cent to trade below $63 a barrel. Bharti Airtel gained 6.08 per cent.