Trading sentiment turned bullish on the Bombay Stock Exchange today as the benchmark Sensex surged over 254 points following a soft Rail Budget amid brokers covering short positions late in the day.
The Sensex, which remained range-bound in early trade, shot up by 254.56, or 1.74 per cent, to 14,913.05 as stocks of companies catering for the railways extended gains after the Railway Budget kept freight rates unchanged. The key index touched a high of 14,945.85 points.
Similarly, the 50-stock National Stock Exchange index Nifty shot up 75.40 points, 1.73 per cent, to 4,424.25, after
touching the day's high of 4,434.45.
Major support to the market came from banking, heavy machinery, power, healthcare and realty stocks.
Shares of firms serving the railways gained after the railway minister said private operations of freight terminals
will be encouraged. Container Corporation surged 4 per cent to Rs 1,010.35 and Stone India 4.8 per cent to Rs 47.15.
Marketmen said the Railway Budget was in line with market expectations. In view of rising trends, brokers were forced to cover their pending short positions created in the last few bearish sessions, they added.
Marketmen said buying picked up as brokers and general investors expect a friendly general Budget on Monday.
They said the benchmark index ended higher for a second straight week, led by heavy-machinery stocks, after the government promised investment in the railways.
The banking sector index gained the most, 2.19 per cent, to 8,459.70, followed by the capital goods index, 1.90 per cent, to 13,013.06 after Larsen and Toubro, the largest engineering company, added 2.82 per cent to Rs 1,607.70.
The power index rose 1.84 per cent to 2,930.23, healthcare 1.80 per cent to 3,654.91, realty 1.18 per cent to 3,435.23, oil and gas 0.96 per cent to 9,597.26, PSU 0.87 per cent to 8,226.83, auto 0.85 per cent to 4,612.81 and teck 0.56 per cent to 2,643.54.
The metal index rose 0.53 per cent to 11,303.34 as stocks of Tata Steel, the biggest producer of the metal, increased 4.32 per cent Rs 438.30.