Markets extended gains on Wednesday with the Sensex briefly crossing the 20,000 mark in intra-day trades, amid strong global cues, led by ITC and HDFC group shares. The Congress victory in Karnataka state elections also helped improve sentiment.
The 30-share Sensex ended up tad short of the 20,000 mark at 19,990 which is a 101 points gain and the 50-share Nifty ended up 26 points at 6,069.
For the day, the Sensex had touched a high of 20,037 and a low of 19,851. Today was the first time since Jan 31, 2013, when the BSE benchmark index crossed 20,000 mark.
As per the poll results, the Congress is leading in 119 constituencies in Karnataka, while ruling party BJP and JDS had 40 constituencies each. Karnataka Janata Party, led by former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, is leading in about eight seats.
Karnataka Assembly has 224 seats, however the election in Periyapatna in Mysore was countermanded following the death of BJP candidate and has been put off to May 28.
In Asia, markets continued to edge higher with Japan's Nikkei average registered its highest close in nearly five years as better-than-expected trade data from China boosted sentiment. The index was up 0.7% to close at 14,286.
Shanghai Composite, Hang Seng, straits Times and Taiwan Weighted gained 0.5-1.2%.
In Europe, Demand for miners helped shares edge higher following strong Chinese trade data. CAC, DAX and FTSE gained 0.2-0.6%.
Back home, among the sectoral indices, FMCG up 1.4% along with Bankex, Oil & Gas and Health Care which gained 0.1% each, were the only indices to close in the green.
Among the ones to end in the negative were Capital Goods, Auto, Metal, Power and PSU indices, which slipped 0.1-0.6%.
HDFC up nearly 4% was the top Sensex gainer after it reported 17% year-on-year jump in net profit at Rs 1,555 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2013.
ITC added another 2.2% in today's trade as Uttar Pradesh government today slashed VAT on cigarette/cigar from existing 50% to 25%, official sources said here. The decision was taken at the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
The other notable gainers were HDFC Bank, Hindustan Unilever, Hindalco, Coal India, Tata Motors and TCS which gained 0.5-1.34%.
Reliance industries and ONGC closed higher by 0.2% and 0.03% respectively.
Among the ones in the negative were Bharti Airtel and Hero MotoCorp which slipped nearly 2% each followed by Tata Steel, Mahindra & Mahindra, Jindal Steel, L&T and NTPC down 1-1.5%.
Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Auto, BHEl, Sun Pharma, Cipla and ICICI Bank down 0.5-0.7% were the other notable losers.
Among other stocks, Corporation Bank surged 7% to Rs 403 after reporting a better-than-expected net profit of Rs 356 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 on back of strong growth reported by retail banking segment.
Ajanta Pharma rallied 12% to Rs 924, near its lifetime high on NSE, after the promoter were on a virtual shopping spree of company’s shares through creeping acquisition route.
Ranbaxy Laboratories has dipped nearly 3% to Rs 444, on reporting a sharp 90% year-on-year decline in its consolidated net profit at Rs 126 crore for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013(Q1) due to the base effect.
Venus Remedies is locked in upper circuit of 20% at Rs 303, after the company said its antibiotic drug 'Elores' received tremendous response from medical fraternity.
Brigade Enterprises surged 7% to Rs 78 after reporting almost four-fold jump in net profit at Rs 28.39 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, on back of impressive growth in operational income.
RPG Life Sciences soared 19% to Rs 74 after reporting a turnaround results for the fourth quarter.
Dewan Housing Finance gained 4% to Rs 180 on reporting a more-than-double net profit at Rs 197 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 (Q4) against profit of Rs 94 crore in a year ago quarter.
The market breadth was neutral. 975 stocks advanced while 974 declined on the BSE.