Mkt climbs 174 pts to 3-mth high
Barometer Sensex ticked all the right boxes as it rallied for the fourth day to end at a 3-month high of 27,882 as February derivatives series got off to a solid start ahead of the budget next week, registering best weekly gains since May last year.
Financial stocks led by ICICI Bank, SBI, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank hogged limelight on better-than-expected earnings by most so far, which rose by up to 4.74 per cent, lifting the BSE bank index by 1.50 per cent.
Reflecting positive Asian cues, the 30-stock index opened positive and rallied to hit the session's high of 27,980.39.
But the rush to take profit meant the advance could not go too far and the gauge settled up 174.32 points, or 0.63 per cent, at 27,882.46 -- a level last seen on October 30 last year when it had closed at 27,930.21.
The index had rallied 673.64 points in the past three sessions, aided by strong earnings amid positive global cues.
The NSE Nifty after hitting a high of 8,672.70 closed at 8,641.25, up 38.50 points, or 0.45 per cent.
For the week, the Sensex recorded a gain of 847.96 points, or 3.13 per cent, while Nifty zoomed 291.90 points, or 3.49 per cent, their best weekly show since May 27 last year when they jumped 1,351.70 points, or 5.31 per cent, and 406.95 points or 5.25 per cent, respectively.
"Market continued to reach newer highs as the Budget day nears and investors are making sure not to miss the rally.
Additionally, a good set of third quarter numbers is adding fresh impetus," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.
Foreign funds made significant purchases of stocks on Wednesday, pepping up mood further.
Out of the 30-share Sensex pack, 19 scrips ended higher.
Market started the February series on a strong footing led by positive global cues following another record closing in the US. Hopes of market and corporate friendly measures from the Budget to revive an economy hit by the cash ban kept the optimism level high.
ICICI Bank gained the most with 4.74 per cent following good quarterly numbers, followed by Bharti Airtel 3.82 per cent. Other prominent gainers included NTPC, Maruti Suzuki, PowerGrid, RIL and Infosys.
GAIL spurted 1.36 per cent after it approved issuance of one bonus share for every three held and an interim dividend of 85 per cent. Intra-day, it touched 52-week high of Rs 493.80.
ITC fell 2.78 per cent even as the company on Friday reported a 5.71 per cent increase in standalone net profit.
Foreign investors bought shares worth a net Rs 1,378.81 crore on Wednesday, as per provisional data. Stock exchanges were closed on Thursday for the Republic Day.
Globally, Japan's Nikkei rose while Hong Kong's Hang Seng settled down. China's Shanghai market remained closed on Friday on account of a public holiday. (PTI)