Overcoming early wobble, Sensex and Nifty moved higher on Thursday, extending their gains into a sixth session. Leading the gains were IT stocks, which rose sharply higher today. Some weakness was seen in metal and pharma stocks. The BSE IT index rose over 3 per cent. Software services exporter Infosys will kick-start the January-March corporate results season on Friday. Both TCS and HCL Tech surged over 4 per cent while Infosys jumped over 3 per cent. Analysts expect FY2019 to be a better year for Indian IT, led by lesser drags and better deal flow.
"Markets are rising in anticipation of earnings coming through. Further, there are early indications of increasing investment that is helping offset some softness in the services side," said Sunil Sharma, chief investment officer at Sanctum Wealth Management.
The Sensex ended 160 points higher at 34,101 while Nifty settled 41 points higher at 10,458. Investors now await March retail inflation data due after market hours today for cues about the economy. Retail inflation likely eased to a five-month low in March as increases in food prices slowed once again but remained above Reserve Bank's medium-term target, a Reuters poll found.
But broader markets struggled today, with both BSE midcap and smallcap indices ending lower. Among other gainers, Biocon rose over 1 per cent on potential benefits from Mylan NV's tie-up with Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics.
IDBI Bank dropped nearly 1 per cent after the Reserve Bank of India penalised the lender for failure to adhere to the norms of income regulation and asset reclassification.
Elsewhere in other global markets, Asian stocks came under pressure as the threat of imminent US military action in Syria rattled investors and sent oil prices to their highest levels since late 2014 on concerns about potential disruptions to supply and distribution. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.4 per cent while Japan's Nikkei edged down 0.1 per cent. (With Agency Inputs)