Sensex at 2-week high, up 161 points as Infosys, TCS climb to record

Sensex at 2-week high, up 161 points as Infosys, TCS climb to record Mumbai: Rising for third straight day, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday surged nearly 161 points to close at two-week high level of 19,414 points on fag-end buying in realty, IT and banking shares amid strong global cues.

The 30-share gauge resumed slightly weak and remained listless till late afternoon trade, moving in just over 60 points. However, buying after 1330 hrs lifted it to settle at 19,413.54, a rise of 160.93 points, or 0.84 percent. In straight three sessions, the index has risen by 535.58 points.

The 50-stock Nifty of the NSE also improved further by 44.70 points, or 0.77 percent to close at 5,863.30.

Persistent buying by Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) also kept the market tempo upbeat. FIIs pumped in Rs 524.05 crore yesterday as per the Sebi data.

"The Indian equity market ended with gains for third straight trading session on Thursday led by capital goods, telecom, FMCG and the banking stocks.

"The realty stocks further surged higher on expectations that the RBI will cut interest rates in its monetary policy review meeting this month. The IT stocks also extended gains led by Infosys, Wipro, TCS & HCL Tech which hit 52-week highs today," said Amar Ambani, head of research India Infoline Ltd.

Brokers said besides momentum in interest-rate sensitive, stocks of software companies surged on hopes of a recovery in the US growth and a better European trend before central bank policy meetings in the region.

Infosys surged 1.29 percent to Rs 3,004.75, its highest level after March, 2011 and Tata Consultancy Services, the largest software exporter closed at a new high by adding 2.10 percent to end Rs 1,590.45.

Engineering major L&T shot up by 2.08 percent to Rs 1,463.45, continuing its rise after CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets upgraded rating on the counter today. Goldman Sachs had upgraded the stock on Monday.

In 30-BSE index components, 10 sectoral indices closed with gains between 0.13 percent and 1.68 percent with realty, IT, capital goods, teck and banking segments taking the lead.

Besides TCS, Infosys, L&T, rise in ITC, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Hero MotoCorp, Sun Pharma, Maruti Suzuki and Wipro mainly aided the Sensex surge.

Asian stocks closed narrowly mixed ahead of the key central-bank decisions and economic data.

Key indices from Japan, Singapore and Taiwan closed better while from China, Hong Kong and South Korea finished down.

European markets were quoting higher in their early trade ahead of monthly policy meetings of the European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of England (BOE) later in the day.

The CAC was trading up by 0.61 percent, the DAX by 0.21 percent and the FTSE by 0.23 percent.

Back home, 20 scrips out of 30-share Sensex pack ended in green while 10 others finished in red.

Major gainers from the Sensex pack were Hero Motocorp (4.05 percent), TCS (2.10 percent), Larsen (2.08 percent), Maruti (2.07 percent), Wipro (1.82 percent), HDFC Bank (1.70 percent), Sterlite Ind (1.62 percent), Sun Pharma (1.62 percent), ITC (1.46 percent), Infosys (1.29 percent), BHEL (1.28 percent), Cipla (1.10 percent), Icici Bank (1.08 percent), Bajaj Auto (1.04 percent) and HDFC (0.97 percent).

However, Jindal Steel dropped by 2.28 percent, HUL 1.69 percent, Coal India 1.25 percent and Tata Motors 1.07 percent.

Among other sectoral indices, the S&P BSE-Realty rose by 1.68 percent followed by the S&P BSE-IT 1.66 percent, the S&P BSE-CG 1.59 percent, S&P BSE-Teck 1.34 percent and Bankex 0.86 percent.

The total market breadth continued to rule firm as 1,523 finished with gains while 1,307 ended in losses while 131 ruled steady. The total turnover declined slightly to Rs 1,930.62 crs from Rs 1,959.81 crore yesterday.

PTI