Helped by fag-end buying, the BSE benchmark Sensex today clocked a rise of 134.64 points to end at nearly two-week high level of 19,635.72 on smart gains in ONGC, Infosys, TCS and ICICI Bank shares amid firming European trend, while NSE Nifty ruled in green too.
Shares of Realty, IT, Healthcare, Power Teck, PSU and Oil&Gas firmed up sharply on good buying enquiries as the sectoral indices were up in 1.03-1.90 per cent range.
The 30-share Sensex resumed higher at 19,523.70 and shot up to the day's high of 19,671.17. It finally ended the day at 19,635.72, registering a gain of 134.64 points or 0.69 per cent. This is the highest close since 19,639.72 on February 6.
ONGC, which gained 4.03 per cent today, led the 22 Sensex gainers. IT stocks were also in limelight with Infosys, TCS and Wipro gaining in 1.2-1.9 per cent range on heavy buying.
Defensive counters like ITC, HUL, Cipla and Dr Reddy's also attracted investors. ICICI Bank and SBI closed up. Bajaj Auto and Maruti gained over 2 per cent each.
The NSE 50-share Nifty rose by 41.50 points or 0.70 per cent to finish at 5,939.70.
"Market broke out from the trading range on account of lack of selling which triggered short covering in the indices. The current up move is likely to intensify further after Nifty takes out the intermediate high of 5969," said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.
Brokers said a better trend in Europe, biggest consumer of Indian software and other goods, on positive signals for the economic recovery also influenced the market sentiment.
However, Bharti Airtel shed 1.94 per cent on fears of increasing competitive intensity after an inter-ministerial body yesterday approved a recommendation that allows companies having ISP licences and holding 4G spectrum to offer phone calls services by paying a fee of Rs 1,658 crore each.
Globally, while Asian stocks ended mixed, European markets were trading higher ahead of German economic sentiment data. Benchmark indices in UK, France and Germany were last trading with gains of between 0.18 per cent and 0.98 per cent.
Asian stocks ended mixed as key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, China and Japan were down by 0.31 per cent to 1.60 per cent. Key benchmark indices in Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan rose by 0.20 per cent to 0.23 per cent.
Moving to the local market, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) continued their buying spree by investing Rs 142.91 crore yesterday as per provisional data from bourses.
Investors' focus is now on Union Budget 2013-14 to be presented on February 28, experts said.
Small-cap and Mid-cap shares today moved up on buying from retail investors as these indices rose by 0.94 per cent and 1.12 per cent respectively.
In the benchmark Sensex, 22 scrips ended higher while eight declined.
Major gainers included ONGC (4.03 pc), Bajaj Auto (2.36 pc), Maruti Suzuki (2.19 pc), BHEL (2.00 pc), Cipla (1.96 pc), Wipro (1.90 pc), Sterlite Ind (1.63 pc), NTPC (1.62 pc), Infosys (1.53 pc), HUL (1.47 pc), Dr Reddy's (1.27 pc), TCS (1.25 pc) and Hindalco (1.04 pc).
However, Bharti Airtel fell by 1.94 per cent, followed by Hero Motocorp (1.37 pc), Gail India (1.37 pc), Coal India (1.35 pc), and Jindal Steel (0.79 pc).
Among the sectoral indices, the BSE-Realty rose by 1.90 per cent, followed by BSE-IT (1.66 pc), BSE-HC (1.38 pc), BSE-Power (1.16 pc), BSE-Teck (1.10 pc), BSE-PSU (1.06 pc) and the BSE-Oil&Gas (1.03 pc).
The market breadth continued to remain positive as 1,371 scrips ended in green while 742 scrips finished in red and 847 ruled steady.
The total turnover improved slightly to Rs 1,658.70 crore from Rs 1,607.73 crore yesterday.
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