In post-Budget rally, the Sensex shot up 623 points - biggest gain in 21 months - to close well over 18,000 mark, bolstered by strong growth data for auto sales, exports and infrastructure industries, amid firm global cues.
The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex resumed higher at 17,982.28 and remained in the positive terrain throughout, to close at 18,446.50, gain of 623.10 points or 3.50 per cent -- biggest since May 2009.
Similarly, the National Stock Exchange index Nifty spurted 189.05 points to 5,522.30. Buying was so strong that all 13 sectoral indices ended up, gaining 1.71 per cent to 5.64 per cent with auto, banking, realty, capital goods and metal stocks leading the gains. Marketmen said investors were relieved that the Budget 2011-12 proposed no hike in excise duty.
They said major positives included allowing foreign investors in mutual fund schemes, increasing FII investment ceiling in corporate bonds, reduction of surcharge on corporate tax by 2.5 per cent to 5.0 per cent and Rs 40,000 crore disinvestment target.
Budget apart, data released today showed that output of the six core infrastructure industries grew by a healthy 7.1 per cent in January, strongest in three months. Also, exports rose 32.4 per cent year-on-year to USD 20.6 billion during the month. Besides, auto sales for February reported strong numbers. "A marginally positive Budget, impressive monthly auto sales figures coupled with upbeat economic reports boosted the sentiment on Dalal-Street," IIFL Head of Research (India Private Clients) Amar Ambani said. "The core sector growth stood at 7.1 per cent in January versus 6.1 per cent in December. Exports surged 34 per cent in January while the trade gap shrank. The manufacturing PMI touched the highest level in three months," he added.