Stock markets extended gains for the sixth straight session today, with the BSE benchmark Sensex closing 50 points higher on expectations of robust corporate earnings following healthy quarterly tax payments by companies.
Auto and financial sector counters made the most of renewed investor interest, which was also thanks to firm global cues. Drawing strength from the overnight rally on Wall Street, the Bombay Stock Exchange's 30-share bellwether ended at 17,462.87, up by 50.04 points, or 0.29 per cent -- its best closing since May 3. The barometer opened higher, buoyed by an over two per cent rally in the US markets last night, but profit booking by investors shaved off most of the gains, brokers said. The session was choppy and the Sensex moved between a low of 17,407.30 points and a high of 17,530.38 during the day.
The National Stock Exchange's wide-based 50 share Nifty Index ended 0.21 per cent higher at 5,233.35 points. Market sentiment was up on the higher payment of advance taxes, a measure of economic activity and rise in profitability of companies, brokers said. Indirect taxes went up by 49 per cent to around Rs 35,000 crore during April-May.
"Market sentiment is bullish on good advance tax numbers and (expectations of) a normal monsoon. The momentum is likely to continue as confidence among investors is coming back," Unicon Financial CEO Ganjedra Nagpal said.
Auto stocks were on top gear, with Tata Motors climbing 2.39 per cent, a day after the company said its global sales rose by 50 per cent in May on robust demand for both commercial and passenger vehicles. M&M, which has given an expression of interest (EOI) for South Korea's Ssangyong motors, soared 3.69 per cent and was the biggest gainer in Sensex components. Maruti rose 1.52 per cent. Hero Honda, however, lost 0.79 per cent. Strong demand was witnessed in financial stocks. ICICI Bank advanced 2.37 per cent, HDFC 1.84 per cent, HDFC Bank 0.5 per cent.
IT stocks too participated in the rally and rose in the range of 0.3-1.5 per cent on hopes that economies in the developed worlds are coming back on the track. Infosys jumped 1.12 per cent. Continuing its rising streak for another day, Anil Ambani -led Reliance Communications ended 0.21 per cent higher. The stock has been on rising streak in recent sessions on various steps taken by the company management.
However, index heavyweights RIL and Bharti Airtel closed in the red and dragged the broader market. The country's most valued firm Reliance Industries, which has the maximum weight on the benchmark, ended with a loss of 0.76 per cent to Rs 1,057.0.76. India's top telecom operator Bharti Airtel on the other hand dropped 1.28 per cent.