Stock indices stage strong comeback, log 1st weekly gain in four
Mumbai: Domestic benchmark indices on Friday staged a strong comeback on good buying in capital goods, banking and IT shares amid positive global cues, logging their first weekly gain in four.
After shedding over 186 points yesterday, 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 percent.
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 percent, ICICI Bank rose 1.62 percent and SBI spurted 1.46 percent.
The IT pack also witnessed activity. HCL Tech ended nearly 3 percent 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 percent, 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 percent 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 yesterday, 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 percent to 2.88 percent. China's Shanghai Composite, however, fell 1.17 percent.
European markets were also trading higher in early trade as indices in France and the UK firmed up by 0.19 percent to 0.46 percent while Germany's DAX was quoting lower.
In the Sensex, major gainers were Axis Bank 2.85 percent, Larsen & Toubro 1.89 percent, ITC 1.83 percent, Tata Steel 1.80 percent and ICICI Bank 1.62 percent.
SBI 1.46 percent, Tata Motors 1.21 percent, Wipro 1.10 percent, Infosys 1.02 percent and Bajaj Auto 0.96 percent were also among notable gainers.
However, Bharti Airtel dropped by 2.91 percent, followed by Sun Pharma 0.82 percent and Maruti Suzuki 0.52 percent.
Market breadth turned positive as 1,480 stocks ended in the green, 1,182 stocks finished in red and 154 ruled steady.
Total turnover dropped to Rs 1,715.52 crore from Rs 1,807.71 crore yesterday.