The benchmark indices closed in the green for the second consecutive session as markets continue to celebrate the easing global geopolitical scenario. The Sensex ended at 41,600, higher by 147 points and the Nifty came off its all-time high of 12,311.20 registered this morning to end at 12,257, up 41 points.
The gains have however been muted compared to the tear-away rally witnessed in the previous session. The Sensex had galloped by as much as 634.61 points or 1.55 per cent and the Nifty had raced ahead by 190.55 points or 1.58 per cent on Thursday.
The broader markets also moved in tandem with the benchmark indices, with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices adding 0.3 per cent each at 15,150 and 14,140 respectively.
On the corporate results front, The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT)'s order to reinstate Cyrus Mistry as chairman of Tata Sons. The development comes roughly a week after Tata Sons approached the Supreme Court challenging the restoration of Cyrus Mistry as the executive chairman of the group by the company law tribunal in December.
Infosys, the country's second-largest software services provider, will kick off the Q3 earnings season by announcing its results later in the day.
In the auto sector, the total passenger car sales in the domestic market fell 8.4 per cent in December, data from industry body SIAM or Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers showed. Auto stocks largely ended in the green. Maruti Suzuki, M&M, Hero Motocorp and Bajaj Auto gained about half a per cent each; Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland, however, registered marginal losses.
Banking stocks were dragging the markets lower. Index heavweights, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank had weakened around 1 per cent each. In the midcap banking space, Yes Bank, RBL and Federal Bank had also shed between 1 per cent and 4 per cent each.
Infosys was the top percentage gainer on the BSE; the stock of the IT bellweather gained by 1.4 per cent at Rs 738 ahead of its Q3 numbers scheduled to be announced this evening. Maruti Suzuki, Kotak Bank, Hindustan Unilever and HDFC Bank were the other significant gainers, adding up to 1 per cent each.
On the other hand, ICICI Bank weakened by 1.1 per cent at Rs 540, IndusInd Bank shed 1 per cent and Titan lost 0.7 per cent.
The market breadth was positive. Out of 2,729 stocks traded on the BSE, there were 1,424 advancing stocks as against 1,131 declines.