Sensex vaults 348 pts on hopes of good monsoon; IT big winner

Snapping its two-day losing run, the benchmark BSE Sensex today zoomed by 348 points to regain the 25,000-mark on hopes of a good monsoon while investors widened bets in IT sector in the last two hours of the session ahead of the March quarter earnings, starting with Infosys.

The broader NSE Nifty too topped the 7,600-level. Guidelines issued by Reserve Bank last week about priority sector loans, whereby banks can buy and sell such credits to manage their priority sector lending requirements, supported the upside.

The BSE banking index surged by 1.67 per cent, whereas in individual stocks, SBI gained 2.76 per cent, Axis Bank perked up 1.99 per cent and ICICI Bank jumped 1.54 per cent.

Hopes of a strong performance by IT firms in the upcoming quarterly earnings, beginning Friday with Infosys, also boosted the sentiment. Wipro and TCS jumped by more than 3 per cent while Infosys gained 1.46 per cent.

Meanwhile, the government today said after two years of deficient rainfall monsoon this year is expected to be normal.

“El nino condition is declining. It is expected that La Nina will takeover and will perhaps favour a good monsoon this year,” Agriculture Secretary Shobhana K Patnaik said. Met Department’s prediction will be out later this month.

Sensex resumed higher at 24,789.40 and hovered in a range of 25,049.92 to 24,523.20 before ending at 25,022.16, showing a recovery of 348.32 points or 1.41 per cent. The gauge had lost 226.79 points in the previous two sessions.

The NSE Nifty crossed the 7,600-mark in a volatile trade. At the close, it was higher by 116.20 points or 1.54 per cent, at 7,671.40. It hovered between 7,678.80 and 7,516.85.

Bharti Airtel stole the show by climbing 4.20 per cent to Rs 348.35 after the company announced that it will buy 4G spectrum of Aircel in eight circles for Rs 3,500 crore.

BHEL continued its winning run for a third straight session, rising 4 per cent, as it closed the last fiscal with a strong order book of Rs 43,727 crore, highest in five years.

Overseas, Shanghai Composite index closed 1.64 per cent up. In Hong Kong, Hang Seng rose 0.35 per cent while Singapore and Taiwan moved up by 0.03 per cent to 0.25 per cent as also Japan and South Korea fell by 0.09 per cent to 0.44 per cent.

Europe was trading narrowly mixed. Indices in France and Germany firmed up by 0.26 per cent to 0.67 per cent while the UK’s FTSE was quoted lower by 0.04 per cent.

Meanwhile, mid-cap and small-cap indices rose by 1.09 per cent and 0.63 per cent, respectively.

Eyes are on tomorrow’s CPI and IIP data, which is looking positive, Nair added.

Out of the 30-share Sensex pack, 26 scrips ended higher.

Major gainers were, Adani Ports (4.54 pc), Bharti Airtel (4.20 pc), BHEL (4.00 pc), Tata Motors (3.67 pc), Wipro (3.36 pc), TCS (3.21 pc), SBI (2.76 pc), Tata Steel (2.76 pc), NTPC (2.32 pc), Axis Bank (1.99 pc), Hero MotoCorp (1.93 pc) and L&T (1.86 pc).

However, Lupin fell by 1.51 per cent followed by Cipla 0.58 per cent, Dr Reddy’s 0.4 per cent and M&M 0.04 per cent.

Among BSE sectoral and industry indices, telecom rose by 3.89 per cent, power (2.10 pc), auto (2.00 pc), IT (1.92 pc), industrials (1.83 pc), metal (1.78 pc), utilities (1.71 pc) and capital goods (1.70 pc).

The market breadth remained positive as 1,490 stocks ended higher and 1,097 declined while 125 ruled unchanged.

The total turnover rose to about Rs 3,854 crore from Rs 1,956.81 crore on Friday.