The BSE Sensex soared 537 points and the NSE Nifty reclaimed the 11,400 level Friday in a broad-based rally led by banking and auto stocks ahead of exit poll results, despite global headwinds. Markets are pricing in the formation of a stable government and continuation of reforms, experts said.
The 30-share BSE benchmark closed 537.29 points, or 1.44 per cent, higher at 37,930.77. Similarly, the broader Nifty rose 150.05 points, or 1.33 per cent, to settle at 11,407.15. During the week, the Sensex gained 467.78 points, or 1.24 per cent, and the Nifty advanced 128.25 points, or 1.13 per cent.
Bajaj Finance was the top gainer in the Sensex pack Friday, surging 6.09 per cent, after the company reported a 50 per cent jump in net profit for the March quarter. Bajaj Auto too ended higher following strong results. Hero MotoCorp, Maruti, Kotak Bank, HDFC, HUL, M&M, HDFC Bank, ITC, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Coal India, SBI, IndusInd Bank and Asian Paints were among the other gainers, rising up to 4.26 per cent.
On the other hand, Yes Bank, Vedanta, Infosys, HCL Tech, Sun Pharma, TCS and NTPC shed up to 2.36 per cent. Investors lapped up banking and auto stocks, boosting key indices, ahead of the exit poll results scheduled for Sunday. "Indian markets have shown tremendous strength before the long-awaited exit polls, despite the ongoing ambiguity in US-China trade talks.
"With the last phase of elections scheduled for Sunday, the all-round buying across the sectors reflects market's anticipation that exit polls may indicate the formation of a stable government," said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, Senior VP and Head of Research (Wealth), Centrum Broking Limited. Sectorally, the BSE auto, FMCG, finance, bankex and capital goods indices ended up to 2.45 per cent higher. However, healthcare, IT and teck lost up to 0.99 per cent.
Broader indices followed the benchmarks, with the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices settling in the green. Meanwhile, global markets were mixed following sharper rhetoric from China on the trade dispute with the US. While Japanese stocks rose, bourses in China and Korea ended in the red. European equities too opened significantly lower. The Indian rupee depreciated by 16 paise to 70.20 against the US dollar intra-day. Global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.26 per cent higher at USD 72.81 per barrel.