Mumbai, Dec 29 Short-covering and value buying on the back of futures and options (F&O) expiry, along with rupee appreciation and budgetary expectations, buoyed the Indian equity markets on Thursday.
The key indices, which opened on a flat note, witnessed a sudden bout of buying in the second half of the session to close with gains of more than half a per cent each.
"Markets surged higher on Thursday on the back of derivatives expiry," Deepak Jasani, Head - Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) gained 68.75 points or 0.86 per cent to 8,103.60 points.
The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 26,429.41 points, closed at 26,366.15 points -- up 155.47 points or 0.59 per cent from the previous day's close at 26,210.68 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 26,429.63 points and a low of 26,166.67 points during the intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bulls -- with 1,695 advances and 895 declines.
On Wednesday, the equity markets had closed on a flat note on the back of profit booking ahead of derivatives expiry and outflow of foreign funds.
The barometer index was down a tad 2.76 points or 0.01 per cent, whereas the NSE Nifty inched up by 2.00 points or 0.02 per cent.
Apart from derivatives expiry, the equities markets got a boost from rupee appreciation. It strengthened by 13 paise to 68.11 against a US dollar from its previous close of 68.24 to a greenback.
"Sharp gains in local equities ahead of December month futures and options expiry and positive cues from Asian currencies market helped the Indian rupee to surge high against the dollar in oday's session to settle in positive zone," SMC Global Securities said in a commentary to IANS.
"The two day losing streak of the local unit got halted after the overseas dollar witnessed some profit booking at higher levels."
However, broadly negative global cues and prolonged outflow of foreign funds limited the upward trend of the benchmark indices.
In terms of investments, provisional data with exchanges showed that the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold stocks worth Rs 662.29 crore, whereas the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased scrip worth Rs 957.83 crore.
According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, IT stocks traded with firm sentiments, while banking, pharma and auto scrip witnessed recovery in the second half of the session.
"Oil-gas, textile, media-entertainment, FMCG, cement and power stocks traded firm throughout the session, while aviation stocks traded firm tracking bearish crude oil prices," Desai added.
"Bearish USD/INR futures prices helped Indian equity markets to recover in second half of the session."
Sector-wise, all the 19 sub-indices of the BSE closed with gains, except the capital goods index which fell by 12.56 points.
The S&P BSE automobile index surged by 266.82 points, followed by the oil and gas index, which gained 184.48 points, and the IT index, which rose by 183.61 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Thursday were: NTPC, up 1.68 per cent at Rs 163.50; Tata Motors, up 1.64 per cent at Rs 470.75; Maruti Suzuki, up 1.56 per cent at Rs 5,312.30; HDFC, up 1.55 per cent at Rs 1,256.05; and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), up 1.51 per cent at Rs 2,350.75.
Major Sensex losers were: Sun Pharmaceuticals, down 1.25 per cent at Rs 613.85; Adani Ports, down 1.21 per cent at Rs 264.80; Larsen and Toubro (L&T), down 0.69 per cent at Rs 1,341.35; Infosys, down 0.51 per cent at Rs 994.10; and Power Grid, down 0.22 per cent at Rs 179.60.
Indo-Asian News Service