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After days of dithering, bulls made a strong comeback today, with the Sensex surging 456 points to reclaim the 26,000-mark on the first day of December series, led by gains in export-oriented IT and pharma on a rebounding rupee.
This was the benchmark's biggest single day gain since October 18, when it had surged 520.91 points.
The Sensex opened higher at 25,953.24 and hovered in a range of 25,874.45 and 26,343.95 before ending at 26,316.34, showing a gain of 456.17 points or 1.76 per cent.
After touching a fresh all-time low against the US dollar yesterday, the rupee jumped 27 paise to end at 68.46.
"With fresh positions being initiated in December futures and options (F&O) series, and with rupee strengthening sharply, market found its voice, and registered gains across sectors," said Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.
Gains were initially seen in IT and metal sectors, but mid-caps too joined the rally, suggesting that risk appetite had improved after a fortnight-long selling spree had rendered prices ripe for value picking, he added.
In the IT pack, TCS rose 5.23 per cent, followed by Infosys (4.78 per cent) and Wipro (3.09 per cent), while pharma sector gainers were Sun Pharma (4.18 per cent), Aurobindo Pharma (4.07 per cent), Lupin (3.36 per cent) and Cipla (1.75 per cent).
Today's rally helped the markets wipe-off losses posted earlier this week. Both the Sensex and Nifty ended the week higher by 166.10 points (0.63 per cent) and 40.20 points (0.49 per cent), respectively.
Fitch Ratings today said it expects India's GDP growth to trend higher than China's in the medium term, adding that it would accelerate next fiscal on the back of reforms and monetary policy easing, which may have contributed to the market upmove.
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 2,010.15 crore yesterday, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges.
In overseas markets, Asian stocks gained as the Thanksgiving break in the US pegged the dollar's relentless surge that had sucked capital out of most emerging markets.
Key Asian indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan moved up by 0.08 per cent to 0.62 per cent.
European markets were trading narrowly mixed as key indices in France and UK rose by 0.02 per cent to 0.04 per cent, while Germany's DAX quoted lower by 0.01 per cent.
The December series derivative contracts were off to a
solid start, which revived investors' confidence. IT, teck, healthcare, consumer durables, power and metal stocks hogged the limelight.
The BSE Mid-Cap index provisionally rose 1.30 per cent, underperforming the Sensex, while the small-cap index gained 2.00 per cent.
A total of 27 scrips in the 30-share Sensex pack ended higher, while only 3 closed lower.
Other gainers were Gail India (3.48 per cent), HDFC (3.05 per cent), NTPC (2.97 per cent), Adani Ports (2.81 per cent), Tata Steel (2.37 per cent), ITC (1.99 per cent), Dr Reddy's (1.99 per cent) and HDFC Bank (1.91 per cent).
However, Bajaj Auto dropped by 0.74 per cent, followed by SBI (0.29 per cent) and Bharti Airtel (0.22 per cent).
Among the sectoral indices, IT rose 4.69 per cent, Teck 3.79 per cent, Healthcare 2.35 per cent, Utilities 2.09 per cent, Consumer Durables 1.74 per cent, Power 1.67 per cent, Finance 1.65 per cent, Metal 1.48 per cent and Realty 1.34 per cent.
Market breadth remained positive as 2,036 stocks ended higher, 594 finished in red while 164 ruled steady.
The total turnover increased to Rs 2,608.36 crore from Rs 2,481.01 crore yesterday.