The benchmark Sensex today bounced back to end with a gain of 120 points and Nifty jumped 26.75 points after rising to new lifetime high on the back of heavy buying in ITC shares on buzz that the government will not ban sales of loose cigarettes.
Global cues were also supportive. Asian and European stocks surged on talk of global monetary stimulus ahead of a European Central Bank policy meeting that could move closer to expanded monetary easing.
ITC, the most influential stock in 30-share BSE Sensex, jumped 5.44 per cent to over six-month high on speculation that government will put on hold its proposal to ban sales of loose cigarettes. Shares of other cigarette makers like Godfrey Phillips and VST Industries also rose in 2-6 per cent range.
The Sensex, which had retreated from record highs by falling over 251 points in the previous three sessions, opened today on a strong footing. It quickly soared to day’s high of 28,808.78. However, profit-booking at higher levels forced it to pare gains and closed at 28,562.82, up 120.11 points, or 0.42 per cent.
On similar lines the 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty, after scaling a new peak of 8,626.95 in early trade, closed at 8,564.40, up 26.75, or 0.31 per cent. Intra-day, the gauge breached its earlier record of 8,623 reached on December 1.
Persistent foreign capital inflows into equity market also boosted the market sentiment. Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth net Rs 391.07 crore yesterday.
Besides ITC, Sensex constituents Sesa Sterlite, Cipla, ICICI Bank, Hindustan Unilever, HDFC Bank, SBI, Axis Bank, HDFC and Bajaj Auto notched up moderate gains.
Sectorally, the BSE FMCG index gained the most by rising 3 per cent, followed by Banking index 0.76 per cent, Capital Goods index 0.40 per cent, Metal index 0.29 per cent, Auto index 0.13 per cent and Power index 0.06 per cent.
Buying activity also witnessed in smallcap and midcap stocks. The BSE Small Cap index rose 0.31 per cent and the BSE Midcap index gained 0.25 per cent.
Most Asian indices rose. “Chinese shares soared to multi year highs amidst steep rise in financial and oil shares and on the back of expectations of further economic stimulus measures,” said Hiren Dhakan, Associate Fund Manager, Bonanza Portfolio.