Stock markets on Thursday staged a smart rally as investors lapped up banking, financial and energy shares amid strong global cues and optimism ahead of the GDP data. Global markets were relieved as concerns over the political stalemate in Italy eased and crude oil prices softened, further bolstering the sentiment, dealers said.
The 30-share Sensex took off on a positive note at 35,083.81 and stayed in the green on widespread buying to hit a high of 35,416.03. It finally ended at 35,322.38, up 416.27 points, or 1.19 per cent. This is its biggest single session gain since April 5, when it had surged 577.73 points. The gauge had lost 259.37 points in the past two sessions. The 50-issue NSE Nifty ended at 10,736.15, up 121.80 points, or 1.15 per cent, after shuttling between 10,763.80 and 10,620.40.
“The market witnessed strong bounce back led by positive global cues and fall in oil prices from $80 per barrel to $76, which has mildly improved sentiment. Additionally investors are expecting a strong Q4 GDP growth which is adding some positive vibes. Banks led from the front while mid-caps underperformed due to concern on valuation,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services. Meanwhile, government data released later showed that the Indian economy grew 7.7 per cent in the January-March quarter and 6.7 per cent in the 2017-18 fiscal. Infrastructure sector recorded 4.7 per cent growth in April as against 2.6 per cent a year ago.
HDFC Bank spurted 4.36 per cent following reports that the window for foreign investors to pick up stake in the company will open on June 1. The bank’s ADRs rallied 7 per cent in New York on Wednesday. ONGC jumped 1.95 per cent after the company reported its highest profit in 17 quarters. Other major Sensex gainers were Adani Ports 4.70 per cent, IndusInd Bank 3.14 per cent, M&M 3.12 per cent, HUL 2.75 per cent, Kotak Bank 2.68 per cent and HDFC Ltd 1.99 per cent.
ICICI Bank, which remained in the negative zone for most of the session, managed to close 0.12 per cent higher. The bank has ordered an independent probe into allegations against its MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar’s dealing with certain borrowers. Reliance Communications climbed 6.86 per cent, a day after appellate tribunal NCLAT stayed bankruptcy proceedings against the company after the debt-laden telecom operator agreed to pay Rs 550 crore to Ericsson to settle a payment dispute.
Meanwhile, the rupee edged up by 2 paise to end at 67.41 against the American currency on stray dollar selling by banks and exporters amid expectations of robust macroeconomic outcome.