Equity benchmark indices surged in the last hour of Friday's trading session after drifting in a range-bound manner for most of the day. The BSE S&P Sensex closed 281 points or 0.76 per cent higher at 37,385 while the Nifty 50 edged higher by 93 points to 11,076. Barring pharma, all sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the green.
Nifty realty gained by 1.4 per cent, metal by 1.3 per cent, auto and bank by 1 per cent each. Nifty pharma was down by 0.8 per cent. Investors say that the stock market may remain volatile in the near-term unless there are visible signs of economic revival. Among stocks, Bharat Petroleum Corporation gained by 6.38 per cent to close at Rs 408.70 per share after reports said the government is exploring options to its sell majority stake to a global oil firm. However, the talks are at an early stage and a move to privatise BPCL will need Parliament's approval.
IndianOil Corporation also gathered a gain of 4.8 per cent, GAIL moved up by 2.8 per cent and ONGC by 2.4 per cent. The other prominent winners were Titan, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and metal majors like Vedanta, Hindalco and JSW Steel. However, Indiabulls Housing Finance, Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy's Bharti Airtel and HDFC Bank showed marginal losses.
Meanwhile, Asian stocks advanced amid hints of progress in US-China trade talks and stimulus from the European Central Bank (ECB). MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan ticked up by 0.3 per cent though mainland China and South Korea were closed for public holidays. Japan's Nikkei rose by 1.05 per cent to four-month highs.
The ECB has cut its main deposit rate by 10 basis points to minus 0.5 per cent, a record low but in line with market expectations. (ANI)
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