Equities jumped for a second day as the market benchmark Sensex climbed by 267.35 points to a one-week high of 23,649.22 on across-the-board buying led by IT and healthcare stocks, in line with a firming global trend.
Sentiment remained firm as buying picked up momentum after other Asian markets rose following a strong Wall Street closing on a surge in crude oil prices, which provided much-needed confidence as key producer Iran agreed to an output freeze by Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Brent crude oil prices tested $35 a barrel in European trade on Thursday.
The 30-share Sensex after shuttling between 23,735.35 and 23,448.21, finally settled 267.35 points or 1.14% up at 23,649.22. The gauge had gained 189.90 points on Wednesday.
The 50-share NSE Nifty after testing the crucial 7,200- mark, advanced to touch a high of 7,215.10, before settling 83.30 points or 1.17% higher at 7,191.75.
Dr Reddy’s Laboratories emerged as the star performer and closed up by 4.52% at Rs 3,094.95 after its board approved a share buyback around 44.85 lakh shares for Rs 1,569.4 crore.
Gains in Hero MotoCorp, ICICI Bank, Lupin, Wipro, Infosys, L&T, Bajaj Auto, ITC, HUL, Sun Pharma, TCS, HDFC Bank, Coal India, Tata Motors, Cipla and M&M, too supported the upside.
Among the 30-Sensex constituents, 20 stocks ended with gains while 10 led by Maruti Suzuki, Asian Paints, BHEL, Axis Bank, RIL, Adani Ports, HDFC, Tata Steel, GAIL and NTPC fell. Sector-wise, BSE IT index gained most by rising 1.94%, followed by tech (1.90%), healthcare (1.78%), capital goods (1.59%), FMCG (1.52%), oil&gas (1.22%), metal (1.12%) and bankex (1.10%).
The broader markets too continued to trend firm as retail investors boosted its positions with the BSE mid-cap index rising 0.63% and small-cap gaining 0.59%.
Globally, Asian markets, including in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore ended higher, while Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.16%. European markets were mixed in their early