The Sensex and Nifty logged a strong recovery today with gains of nearly 1% each, ending the seven-day losing streak since the Modi government presented its last full year Budget last Thursday before it goes to Lok Sabha polls in 2019. Markets were bouyed as brighter corporate earnings improved sentiment. While Sensex rose 330 points or 0.97% to 34413 level, Nifty staged a 100 point (0.96%) recovery from Wednesday's lows.
Since February 1, the Sensex has lost 1,708 points and Nifty is still down 491 points taking into account the recovery market staged today.
Brent crude futures tumbled to a six- week low of $65.16 per barrel. A fall in crude prices is seen as positive for Indian economy, which imports most of its oil requirements.
Brokers said buying by domestic institutional investors (DIIs) and a mixed trend at other Asian bourses improved the market sentiment.
DIIs had bought shares worth Rs 461.19 crore, while foreign funds sold shares to the tune of Rs 1,022.50 crore yesterday.
The key indices started on a positive note in early trade and held on to their gains throughout the day, recording 552 points and 161 points gains intra day, respectively compared to yesterday's close.
The India VIX index or the volatility index fell 8.70% to 17.77 points. A decrease in index signals reduced volatility in markets.
Sun Pharma (6.32%) , Dr Reddy's (3.18%) and SBI (2.97%) were the top Sensex gainers. On Nifty, top gainers were Cipla (8.21%), Ambuja Cements (7.13%) and Sun Pharma (6.44%).
Pharma stocks led the recovery with BSE healthcare index rising 405 points or 2.91% to 14,344 level.
Banking stocks too closed higher a day after RBI kept its key rates unchanged. The BSE Bankex rose 324 points or 1.12% to 29,396 level.
Among 19 BSE sectoral indexes, 18 closed in the green. The BSE Oil and gas index fell 38 points to 15653 level.
41 stocks closed higher against 9 falling on the Nifty.
On the Nifty, most valued stock was Galaxy Surfactants which closed 13.44% higher after making its debut on bourses today.
The value of trade stood at Rs 1,39,206 lakh.
Market breadth was positive with 2172 stocks closing higher compared with 640 ending lower on the BSE. 118 stocks were unchanged.
Cement manufacturer ACC rose 6.41% or 102 points to 1,692 points after the firm logged 126 percent rise in net profit to Rs 206 crore ($32.06 million) in December-quarter from Rs 90.87 crore a year earlier. Net sales were up 30 percent at Rs 3,417 crore.
State-run power equipment maker BHEL posted a 64 per cent jump in its standalone net profit to Rs 153.19 crore for the third quarter ended December 31. The company's standalone net profit was Rs 93.54 crore in the same quarter last fiscal, BHEL said in a statement.
HeidelbergCement India reported a net profit of Rs 31.76 crore for the quarter ended December 2017. However, the company had posted a net loss of Rs 3.58 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal, HeidelbergCement India said.
Auto components major Bharat Forge reported a 77.39 per cent jump in net profit at Rs 228.17 crore for the quarter ended on December 31. The company had posted a net profit of Rs 128.62 crore for the same period in the previous fiscal.
European markets were lower in early trading with Britain's FTSE 100 down 0.5 percent to 7,243.02. France's CAC 40 dipped 0.3 percent to 5,238.50. Germany's DAX declined 0.7 percent to 12,506.55. Futures showed Wall Street was due for a lackluster start. S&P futures added 0.2 percent while Dow futures rose 0.3 percent.