Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex closed the 2012-13 financial year on a positive note with the index on Thursday jumping by 131.24 points to one-week high of 18,835.77 helped by heavy buying in ICICI Bank, Infosys, L&T, ITC and ONGC shares, amid settlement of monthly derivative contracts.
After opening flat, the 30-share Sensex hit a new four-month low of 18,568.43 in the first hour of trade on weak Asian sentiments on concerns over the European debt crisis.
A wave of buying in metal, capital goods, consumer durables and PSUs during last half hour of trade helped Sensex end at 18,835.77, a rise of 131.24 points or 0.7 percent. This is its highest closing since 18,884.19 on March 20.
The CNX Nifty of NSE also improved further by 40.95 points or 0.73 percent at 5,682.55.
Banking counters from Sensex like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and SBI notched handsome gains between 1.04-2.37 percent and contributed almost 65 points to the Sensex kitty.
Other index component like Infosys, ITC, L&T, ONGC, TCS, Gail and CIL were also in demand. Tata Steel, Sterlite Ind and Hindalco gained in 2-4 percent range.
"Metal stocks have seen a big fall over the last few months And today, the sector witnessed smart buying. Such type of interest also shows that the market may be expecting revival of demand for metals over the coming months," said Milan Bavishi, Head Research, Inventure Growth and Securities.
Brokers attributed late recovery in share prices to frantic short-covering by on the last day of derivative contracts. Bucking the trend, RIL continued its losing streak for yet another session and lost 1.24 percent. Tata Motors shed 2.16 percent and Bharti Airtel declined by 1.77 percent.
Buying was seen in second-line stocks with the S&P BSE-Midcap and S&P BSE-Smallcap indices outperforming Sensex, gaining 1.46 percent and 1.32 percent respectively.
The Sensex has gained 1,431.57 points or 8.23 percent in 2012-13 fiscal. The BSE and NSE will remain closed on Friday, March 29, on account of "Good Friday".
Asian stocks closed lower on concern Europe's debt crisis is deepening and after pending US home sales fell, damping earnings prospects for Asian exporters. Key benchmark indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan ended down between 0.15-2.82 percent. South Korean stocks finished flat.
However, Europe was trading slightly better in early trade after reports of unexpected rise in German retail sale data. Germany's DAX was quoting up by 0.05 percent and the UK's FTSE by 0.10 percent. France's CAC was flat.
Moving to the domestic market, 19 scrips of the 30-share Sensex pack ended higher while 11 finished with losses.
Major gainers from the Sensex pack were Gail India (5.02 percent), Hindalco Ind (3.98 percent), ONGC (2.92 percent), Sterlite Ind (2.91 percent), HDFC Bank (2.70 percent), CIL (2.62 percent), ICICI Bank (2.37 percent), L&T (2.09 percent), Tata Steel (1.99 percent), Tata Power (1.74 percent), Infosys (1.25 percent) and SBI (1.04 percent).
However, Tata Motors dropped by 2.16 percent, followed by Hero MotoCorp (1.95 percent), Bharti Airtel (1.77 percent), HUL (1.34 percent), RIL (1.24 percent) and Maruti Suzuki (1.04 percent).
Among the sectoral indices, the S&P BSE-Metal rose by 2.69 percent, followed by S&P BSE-CG (2.17 percent), S&P BSE-CD (1.89 percent), S&P BSE-PSU (1.76 percent), S&P Bankex (1.66 percent), S&P BSE-IT (1.14 percent), S&P BSE-Realty (1.11 percent) and S&P BSE-Power (1.04 percent) and S&P BSE-Teck (1.03 percent).
Commenting on Nifty outlook, Rakesh Goel, Senior VP, Bonanza Portfolio said: "If in coming week, Nifty sustains above 5700, further recovery is likely. In coming week, 5700 shall be crucial deciding level in near term, and index is likely to witness further buying above this level."
Total market breadth turned higher as 1,625 stocks ended higher while 1,149 closed lower. Total turnover shot up to Rs 3,099.92 crore from Rs 1,661.57 crore on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, FIIs injected Rs 538.27 crore on Tuesday, as per provisional data with stock exchanges.
First Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013, 16:56