Mumbai: The benchmark BSE Sensex logged a surprise rally of 236.57 points Thursday to reclaim the 27,000- mark, tracking strong gains in Asia and Europe with investors speculating that Britain will remain with the European Union.
With the UK's fate in the EU on a knife-edge, millions of Britons began voting today in the historic referendum that will decide whether the country will stay in or leave the 28-nation bloc after an acrimonious campaign.
The last poll tracker of 'The Daily Telegraph' and a YouGov poll for?'The Times' showed 'Remain' at 51 percent and 'Leave' at 49 percent.
Shares of Tata Motors, having a big exposure to the UK, emerged as the biggest BSE gainer with a rise of 3.28 percent to Rs 488. Other companies with exposure to the UK also saw revival of buying after witnessing selling pressure in yesterday's trade. Bharat Forge, Hindalco and Infosys recorded gains of up to 2.03 percent.
The Sensex after moving in a tight range initially, tended to look up in step with a firm global trend and recaptured the 27,000-mark to hit a high of 27,060.98. Finally, the gauge ended 236.57 points or 0.88 percent higher at 27,002.22 -- its highest closing since June 8.
The rupee strengthening by 24 paise to 67.24 against the American currency (intra-day) at the forex market, too helped.
Overall, 24 counters gained from the 30-scrip index.
Other major gainers were SBI, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ITC Ltd, Sun Pharma, Lupin, M&M, Hindustan Unilever, Bajaj Auto, ICICI Bank, Power Grid, Tata Steel, L&T and HDFC Ltd.
Moreover, BSE mid-cap index recovered by 0.27 percent, while small-cap index fell 0.04 percent.
Sectorally, banking index gained the most by rising 1.61 percent followed by auto 1.09 percent, healthcare 0.73 percent, FMCG 0.65 percent, oil&gas 0.65, consumer durables 0.52 percent and PSU 0.52 percent.
Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 41.10 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.
Globally, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed 0.35 percent higher while Japan's Nikkei gained 1.07 percent. European markets were too in the positive zone with London's FTSE 1.52 percent up, France's CAC 1.98 percent higher and Frankfurt- based DAX 1.97 percent in the green.