Mumbai, Apr 29 (PTI) Benchmark indices defied gravity for the third straight day on Wednesday, spurred by robust gains in financials, bank and IT stocks amid positive overseas cues.
A smart recovery in the rupee and short covering ahead of the expiry of April futures and options (F&O) contracts added to the momentum, traders said.
After surging 783.07 points during the day, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 605.64 points or 1.89 per cent higher at 32,720.16 -- an over six-week high.
Similarly, the NSE Nifty advanced 172.45 points, or 1.84 per cent, to close at 9,553.35.
HDFC was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying 7.07 per cent, followed by HDFC Bank at 4.87 per cent. The HDFC twins accounted for over half of the index's gains.
Other winners included HCL Tech, M&M, Tata Steel, SBI, ICICI Bank, Bajaj Finance and Infosys, spurting up to 4.11 per cent.
On the other hand, Axis Bank, Asian Paints, HUL, Titan and Nestle shed up to 3.67 per cent.
Indian markets opened on positive note taking cues from its Asian peers and ahead of U S Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, said Narendra Solanki, Head- Equity Research (Fundamental), Anand Rathi.
'Indian benchmarks extended their gains in late afternoon session as traders also took encouragement from reports of Finance Minister's likely announcement of larger stimulus package for the economy, which also led to some short covering in heavily negative sectors like financials ahead of monthly expiry on Thursday,' he said.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research at geojit Financial Services, said,' Expectations of lockdown measures easing and company specific news about restarting operations, gave support to the markets. The volatile crude oil prices were also up because of a lesser than forecasted increase in US oil inventories.' BSE metal, finance, teck, IT, telecom and capital goods indices rallied up to 3.92 per cent, while FMCG ended in the red.
Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices surged up to 1.04 per cent.
Global equities maintained positive momentum as various economies, including states in US and Eurozone, gradually lift lockdown restrictions.
Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul settled on a positive note. Markets in Europe were also trading higher in early deals.
International oil benchmark Brent crude futures rose 2.99 per cent to USD 23.41 per barrel.
On the currency front, the Indian rupee surged 52 paise to provisionally close at 75.66 against the US dollar.
Meanwhile, global tally of coronavirus infections has crossed 31 lakh, with over 2.17 lakh deaths.
The death toll due to COVID-19 in India rose to 1,007 and the number of cases climbed to 31,332, according to the health ministry. PTI ANS ABM ABM