MUMBAI, April 21 (PTI): The BSE Sensex defied gravity for the second session in a row on Thursday as market majors Reliance Industries, Infosys and HDFC twins continued to attract investor attention amid a sustained uptick in world markets.
Value-buying persisted in blue chips as well as select mid- and small-cap counters after their recent spell of weakness, traders said.
The 30-share BSE benchmark zoomed 874.18 points or 1.53 per cent to finish at 57,911.68. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty rallied 256.05 points or 1.49 per cent to 17,392.60.
M&M was the top gainer among the Sensex constituents, climbing 3.50 per cent, followed by Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Finserv, Asian Paints, Reliance Industries, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC and TCS.
Only three stocks posted losses — Tata Steel, Bharti Airtel and Nestle India, dipping up to 0.88 per cent.
“Resurgence of investor interest in IT and banking space along with support from heavyweights and global peers helped in strengthening the market. However geopolitical worries, inflation fears and likely hike in Fed rates is pressurising the foreign investors to continue their selling spree.”
“Increasing oil prices on concerns over potential EU ban on Russian imports will be a short term headwind resulting in volatility in the market,” said Vinod Nair, head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
S Ranganathan, head of Research at LKP Securities, said, “Bulls came back strongly… helped by the Energy sector which is seeing robustness in gross refining margins. Almost all sectoral indices led by Automobiles traded in the green with the volatility index cooling off.”
In the broader market, the BSE smallcap gauge jumped 1.33 per cent while the midcap index gained 1.28 per cent.
As many as 2,303 stocks advanced, while 1,115 declined and 103 remained unchanged.
Among BSE sectoral indices, auto jumped the most by 2.14 per cent, followed by consumer discretionary goods and services (1.60 per cent), finance (1.54 per cent), industrials (1.45 per cent) and IT (1.45 per cent). Metal index was the only laggard.
World equities maintained their upward trajectory, supported by a dip in US Treasury yields, even as the Fed’s anticipated rate hikes, inflationary pressures and Ukraine crisis remained on investors’ radar.
Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Tokyo and Seoul settled in the green, while Hong Kong and Shanghai ended lower.
Markets in Europe were trading mostly higher in the afternoon session.
Stocks in the US had ended on a mixed note on Wednesday.
International oil benchmark Brent crude gained 1.40 per cent to USD 108.3 per barrel.
The rupee appreciated by 15 paise to close at 76.15 (provisional) against the US dollar amid a weak greenback overseas.
Foreign institutional investors continued their selling spree, offloading shares worth a net Rs 3,009.26 crore on Wednesday, according to stock exchange data.