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Key indices snap 2-day losing streak

Financial, pharma stocks surge; Bajaj Finance rallies 7%; Bulls take charge on expiry day

Positive data, hopes of healthy Q3 results lift markets

Positive data, hopes of healthy Q3 results lift markets 

Mumbai: Equity benchmarks returned to winning ways on Thursday after two days of declines as investors snapped up financial, pharma and IT stocks amid firm Asian cues.

The 30-share BSE Sensex soared 358.83 points or 0.69 per cent to finish at 52,300.47. Intra-day, the index swung between a high of 52,346.35 and a low of 51,957.92. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty climbed 102.40 points or 0.65 per cent to end at 15,737.75.

Bajaj Finance topped the Sensex gainers' chart, rallying 7.29 per cent, followed by Bajaj FinServ, SBI, IndusInd Bank, Dr Reddy's, Tech Mahindra, ITC and Kotak Bank. On the other hand, Bajaj Auto, Maruti, HCL Tech, UltraTech Cement, PowerGrid, ONGC and Nestle suffered losses. Of the 30 shares in the Sensex pack, 23 ended with gains.

Vinod Nair, head (research) at Geojit Financial Services, said: "Ahead of US inflation data and European Central Bank policy meeting outcome, Indian equities reflected its Asian counterparts to trade on a positive note. With faster vaccine coverage and off-loading of fiscal measures, the economic impact of Covid second wave will most likely be restricted to Q1 FY22, as per the monthly report of the Department of Economic Affairs. Gains in the market were broad-based with all major sectors except auto."

S Ranganathan, head (research) at LKP Securities, adds: "Bulls were charged up on weekly derivatives expiry day and broader markets saw selective buying in stocks which looked reasonable compared to their expensive larger peers. While the Bajaj twins provided the firepower to the index, the small and midcaps put up a stellar show yet again despite apprehensions on higher valuations in select segments."

Sectorally, BSE realty, healthcare, finance and telecom indices emerged as the top performers, with gains of as much as 3.27 per cent. Broader BSE smallcap and midcap indices rose 1.73 per cent and 1.26 per cent, respectively. The largecap index followed with 0.73 per cent gains. Elsewhere in Asia, stock markets closed with gains ahead of crucial US inflation data for May. Bourses in Europe were mixed, with investors looking ahead to the ECB policy meeting for further cues. On the forex market front, the Indian rupee lost 9 paise to end at 73.06 against the US dollar on Thursday.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers in the capital market on Wednesday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 846.37 crore, as per exchange data. Daily Covid-19 cases in India remained below the 1 lakh-mark for the third day at 94,052, taking the tally to 2,91,83,121, according to the Union health ministry's data updated on Thursday.

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