Reforms hopes back to the fore, lift Sensex 142 points
The government's renewed push for reforms gave the benchmark BSE Sensex a leg-up, which for the second straight day kept up its tempo and ended the session higher by 142 points at 27,705.35.
A gentle uptick in rollover of July F&O positions proved to be a feel-good factor, too.
The Cabinet has approved incorporation of changes in the GST Bill as suggested by the Rajya Sabha select committee, boosting hopes of its passage in the Upper House of Parliament during the monsoon session.
The overall market mood moved one notch higher after the US Fed kept its benchmark rate unchanged at its policy review that concluded on Wednesday.
Some strong quarterly numbers from blue-chips only added to the momentum.
The rally was supported by short-covering by speculators in view of the last day of July futures and options contracts.
Intense buying by funds lifted the Sensex to intra-day high of 27,854.46, which finally closed higher 141.92 points, or 0.51%, at 27,705.35.
ITC climbed 3.90% after the company posted 3.61% rise in net profit at Rs 2,265.44 crore for the June quarter.
The 50-share NSE Nifty reclaimed its crucial 8,400-mark, hitting a high of 8,458.90. It ended at 8,421.80, up 46.75 points, or 0.56%.
From the Sensex pack, Dr Reddy's (up 5.23%) stole the show while Cipla, HUL, HDFC, BHEL and SBI were other notable gainers.
Sector-wise, the BSE realty index took the lead in gains, surging 3.48%, after a committee tabled its report on the Real Estate Bill in the Rajya Sabha. FMCG, power, PSU and healthcare advanced, too.
Broader markets small-cap and mid-cap registered gains of 0.90% and 0.79%, respectively.
On the global front, Asian markets ended mixed while European markets were higher in their early trade.