The market kept its winning momentum going for the fourth straight day as the Sensex soared nearly 190 points to end at 25,816 -- a fresh over three-and-a-half month high—as investors lapped up Infosys’ upbeat revenue forecast and industry-beating net profit for January-March.
Mood has turned for the better following positive macroeconomic data, including a cooling inflation and a forecast of an above-normal monsoon this year, kindling hopes of a higher growth and more policy easing by RBI.
To add to the good news, wholesale price-based inflation in March remained in the negative zone for the 17th month in a row at (-)0.85 per cent even as prices of some food articles, mainly pulses, turned costlier.
The NSE Nifty took back the psychological 7,900-mark. IT, realty, technology and FMCG stocks led the charge, with widespread gains.
Throughout the session, trading stayed positive. The Sensex ended higher by 189.61 points, 0.74 per cent, at 25,816.36 -- its highest closing since January 1 this year.
The 30-share Sensex had gained over 952.91 points in the past three sessions. The NSE Nifty closed at 7,914.70, up 64.25 points, or 0.82 per cent.
The second-largest IT services company, Infosys, was the clear winner as it shot up 5.70 per cent to close at a fresh 52-week high of Rs 1,238.80 after it posted 16.2 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 3,597 crore for the March quarter.
Infosys on Friday said it expected revenue for 2016-17 to grow in the range of 11.5-13.5 per cent in constant currency and 11.8-13.8 per cent in US dollar terms, in line with industry estimate of 10-12 per cent for the fiscal.
Earlier on, the stock of TCS tumbled 2.93 per cent after a US grand jury awarded Epic Systems $940 million in damages against it and another group company Tata America International Corp in a trade secret lawsuit, but recovered ahead of its results due later in the day. It ended almost flat at Rs 2,522.40, down 0.03 per cent.
The country’s biggest cigarette maker, ITC, jumped 1.33 per cent to Rs 335.35 after reports said the company would resume production at its factories, two weeks after it decided to shut its plants over the government’s stringent new packaging rules.
A total of 16 rose out of the 30 in the Sensex pack. Cipla, Bharti Airtel, HDFC, Lupin and NTPC all advanced. BSE realty index jumped the most by rising 4.40 per cent, followed by IT 3.09 per cent and technology 2.92 per cent.
Broader markets ruled firm too, with the mid-cap index advancing 1.26 per cent and small-cap 1.11 per cent.
Foreign investors net bought shares to the tune of Rs 644.27 crore on April 13, showed provisional data.
Markets will remain closed tomorrow on account of ‘Mahavir Jayanti’.
Other Asian bourses ended lower and Europe’s main stock markets sank at the start of trade today as talks in Qatar to curb oil output collapsed, pushing oil prices down further.