Equity market ended an action-packed day in the positive territory on Friday, though the benchmark indices trimmed most of their gains towards the end of the session. Shares of telecom companies - Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel surged amid hopes that the government would step in to help the ailing sector, a day after the two companies reported a combined loss of Rs 74,000 crore and warned their ability to operate and make profits would depend on relief from the country.
Besides, rally in PSU banks post Supreme Court ruling in Essar Steel case and reports that important trade issues between India and the US have been resolved and the countries may sign initial trade package boosted investor sentiment. That apart, US-China trade deal hopes, too, cheered market particpants.
The S&P BSE Sensex ended 70 points or 0.17 per cent higher at 40,357. During the day, the index hit a high and low of 40,650 and 40,308, respectively. Bharti Airtel (up around 8.50 per cent) emerged as the biggest gainer on the index while Hero MotoCorp (down nearly 2 per cent) was the top laggard.
SBI, Bharti Airtel, HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries (RIL), and Sun Pharma contributed the most to the index's gains while ITC, TCS and Maruti were the top drags. In the broader market, the S&P BSE MidCap index ended at 14,773 levels, up 93 points or 0.63 per cent while the S&P BSE SmallCap index slipped 17 points or 0.13 per cent to end at 13,326.
On the NSE, the Nifty50 index added 23 points or 0.20 per cent to end at 11,895 levels.
Sectorally, PSU bank stocks advanced the most. Pharma counters came second on the list. Nifty PSU Bank index climbed 3.50 per cent to 2,463 levels. On the other hand, auto stocks bled the most with the Nifty Auto index falling 0.54 per cent to 8,147 levels.
Volatility guage India VIX declined over 4 per cent to 14.96 levels.
On a weekly basis, Sensex added 0.08 per cent while Nifty lost 0.10 per cent.
Buzzing stocks of the day:
Telecom major Vodafone Idea plunged 11.5 per cent to hit an all-time low of Rs 2.61 apiece on the BSE on Friday after the company reported a net loss of Rs 50,922 crore, the biggest ever loss in corporate India's history, due to outstanding payment related to adjusted gross revenues, or AGR. The stock, however, bounced back later and ended around 25 per cent higher at Rs 3.68 on the BSE. Bharti Airtel hit a 52-week high of Rs 398 during the day before settling at Rs 393, up around 8.50 per cent on the BSE.
Shares of public sector banks (PSBs) inched higher at the bourses on Friday, with the Nifty PSU Bank index gaining more than 3 per cent after the Supreme Court said the NCLAT cannot interfere with the commercial decisions taken by banks in Essar Steel case.