Markets ended higher on Thursday supported by buying in oil marketing companies amid hopes of growth recovery in Asia's third-biggest economy after government partially deregulated diesel prices today.
State-owned Indian oil [ Get Quote ] marketing companies can now raise diesel prices in line with increases in global crude oil prices, Oil Minister Veerappa Moily [ Images ] said on Thursday.
"The OMCs are losing close to Rs 9.5 per litre on diesel, and if permitted, the hike can be to the tune of Rs 2 3 a litre right now.," said Dayanand Mittal, an analyst at Ambit Capital.
The 30-share Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange [ Images ] rose 146.40 points and ended at 19,964.03 while the 50-share Nifty gained 37.35 points to end at 6,039.20.
Meanwhile, IT pack also notched up significant gains after slew of upbeat quarterly results by sector heavy-weights raised hopes of growth recovery in the beleaguered technology sector. HCL Technologies [ Get Quote ], Wipro [ Get Quote ] gained 2-5% on BSE today.
In the results calendar, Hero MotoCorp is scheduled later today while HDFC Bank [ Get Quote ], ITC, Reliance Industries [ Get Quote ] and Wipro on Jan 18.
Globally, Asian markets dropped ahead of key Chinese economic data including fourth-quarter GDP, December industrial output, retail sales and house price on Friday, which will offer clues on the health of Asia's biggest economy.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.07% to 23,340, Taiwan's Weighted index fell 1% to 7,616, Singapore's Straits Times was down 0.34% to 3,198 while China's Shanghai Composite declined 1% to 2,285 and Japan's [ Images ] Nikkei dropped 0.1% to 10,609.
European stocks traded on a mixed note. France's [ Images ] CAC gained 0.02% to 3,709, Germany's [ Images ] DAX dropped 0.15% to 7,679 while UK's FTSE fell 0.1% to 6,097.
Back home, oil &gas, real-estate, technology, IT, PSUs gained while capital goods, FMCG, banks, consumer durables and healthcare indexes dropped on BSE.
Among key Sensex stocks, Cipla and SunPharma dropped 2% and 0.4%, Bajaj Auto [ Get Quote ] & Hero MotoCorp fell 1%, ICICI Bank [ Get Quote ] fell 1.4% , Hindalco [ Get Quote ] was down 1% on BSE.
Among gainers, ONGC [ Get Quote ] and Bharti Airtel [ Get Quote ] jumped 3.6% and 3.2% respectively, TCS [ Get Quote ], Infosys [ Get Quote ] and Wipro were up 1-3%, Reliance Industries ended up 3%, ITC gained 0.5%, among autos, Tata Motors [ Get Quote ] and Mahindra & Mahindra gained 2.6% and 0.3%, and SBI [ Get Quote ], HDFC Bank gained 2% and 0.5% on BSE.
HCL Technologies, country's fourth-biggest software exporter, rallied 5% to Rs 707 in after reporting a better-than-expected 9% quarter-on-quarter (qoq) growth in consolidated net profit to Rs 965 crore for the second quarter ended December 31, 2012 (Q2).
Revenue rose by 3% sequentially to Rs 6,274 crore during the recently concluded quarter.
The other notable movers includes, Wipro gaining 3% ahead of its earnings for the third quarter ended December 2012 (Q3) which will be announced on Fri.
India's third-largest outsourcing company, on Tuesday said that its board will also consider the proposal for declaration of interim dividend for the financial year 2012-13.
Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) rallied after Government partially deregulated diesel prices today.
India's three-biggest OMCs namely Bharat Petroleum Corporation [ Get Quote ], Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Indian Oil Corp gained between 2-4% on BSE.
Reliance Industries rose 3% on hopes of improved refining margins by the world's biggest refiner in the third quarter after surge in GRMs by the Essar Oil [ Get Quote ].
The broader markets ended flat with mid-caps gaining 0.2% while small-caps ended tad down by 0.02% on BSE.
The market breadth was positive.
Out of 3,020 stocks traded, 968 stocks gained compared to 960 declines on BSE. Nearly 1,092 stocks remained unchanged.