The BSE benchmark index Sensex today closed up by 467 points, posting its biggest single-day gain in past three weeks following massive buying by funds and retail investors mainly in banking, oil and capital goods stocks.
The 30-share index started the session on strong footing and hit the day's high of 24,709.09 points as stocks of capital goods, PSU, banking, oil and gas, power, metal and auto sectors rose sharply. The Sensex settled at 24,684.85 points, a rise of 467.51 points, or 1.93%, the biggest gain since May 12. The broad-based Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also jumped by a whopping 132.55 points, or 1.83%, to closed at 7,362.50 after testing a high of 7,368.60.
Foreign funds and retail investors accelerated their buying activity as data showed that India's manufacturing sector growth inched up in May, brokers said. A firming trend in global markets also buoyed the sentiments, they added. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 2,977.62 crore last Friday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges. Stocks of state-run banks led by SBI were in keen demand on speculation that the government may consider selling part of its holdings, attributed major support to the Sensex, brokers said. SBI rose by 4.23% while private lender Axis Bank jumped 3.59%, HDFC Bank by 3.26% and ICICI Bank by 2.80%.
Engineering major Larsen & Toubro was the biggest gainer among Sensex stocks as it zoomed by 6.40% on the back of strong Q4 results. L&T reported 69% increase in standalone net profit for the March quarter. Car maker Maruti Suzuki surged 3.06% after it reported 19.2% rise in May sales. The Mid-cap index gained by 2.16% and small-cap index by 2.01%. The BSE Capital goods index gained 4.93%, followed by PSUs index (3.42%), Banking index (3.28%) and Oil and gas index (2.85%).