Markets snapped three-day losing streak to end 1% higher on Thursday after bank shares rebounded from their day's low.
The 30-share Sensex ended at 19,570 up 208 points or 1.07% and the 50-share Nifty ended at 5,909 up by 58 points or 0.99%.
The Sensex and the Nifty touched an intra-day high of 19,605 levels and 5,920 mark, respectively.
On the global front, Japan's Nikkei average climbed 1.2% on Thursday, snapping a two-day losing streak, as real estate companies rebounded ahead of the expected confirmation of a new leadership team for the Bank of Japan.
Back home, ahead of the RBI’s monetary policy review on March 19th, the whole sale price index inflation stood at 6.84% in February 2013, as against 7.56% in the corresponding period in the previous year.
Inflation was declining for four months in a row till January. In January 2013, WPI inflation was at 6.62%.
On the sectoral front, BSE Realty index and BSE Bankex indices surged by over 2% followed by counters like Capital Goods, PSU, Metal, Power, IT, FMCG and Oil & Gas, all gaining by 1% each.
However, BSE Consumer Durable index declined by almost 2%.
Shares of rate sensitive sectors mainly banking and realty moved higher on hopes that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may ease rates in its policy meet next week.
State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Dena Bank, Canara Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce from banking space and Unitech and Indiabulls Real Estate from realty ended higher by more than 3% each on BSE.
Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank recovered in afternoon trades and analysts see no risks to these stocks due to reports of online newspaper Cobrapost that these banks allegedly indulged in money laundering.
Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank are up between 1-3%. All these stocks fell in early trade today after money laundering allegations made by Cobrapost. HDFC gained by nearly 1%.
Capital Goods majors like L&T and BHEL gained between 1-2% on renewed buying demand.
Index heavyweights Reliance Inds and Infosys gained between 0.4-2%.
Infosys' stock saw a spike in response to its 3QFY13 results and has moved in a range ever since.
The brokerage believes that 3QFY13 may only have been the first quarter of a visible momentum in the company's growth, and that there is further upside in the stock from current levels, Motilal Oswal said in a report.
The brokerage has a target price of Rs 3,260 for Infosys.
Meanwhile, Infosys today bagged an order from German car-maker BMW group.
Other notable gainers are Maruti Suzuki, Tata Power, HUL, JSPL, Tata Steel, TCS, ONGC and BHEL gained between 1-3%.
On the losing side, Consumer Durables Index was the top loser among the sectoral indices on the BSE for the fourth straight session, down almost 2% after high inflation for the past few months has led to lower discretionary spends.
The sectoral index has lost over 7% so far since Friday’s close of 7,264.
Among the stocks in the index, Gitanjali Gems and Titan were down over 3%, while Whirphool, Symphony and Rajesh Exports were down 1% each. Blue Star and TTK Prestige ended in positive zone.
The market breadth in BSE ended almost neutral.
Asian Paints ended higher by over 2% after the paint maker said that its promoters released part of pledge shares lying with lenders in last week.
National Aluminium Company (Nalco) ended lower by 4% on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) ahead of the government’s stake sale plan via Offer for Sale (OFS) route on Friday.
Kennametal India slipped nearly 7%, after its promoter - Kennametal Inc - fixed the floor price for its offer-for-sale (OFS) of shares at Rs 435.