Domestic stock markets extended gains to a third straight session on Friday tracking global equities. The S&P BSE Sensex index rose as much as 0.74 per cent - or 266.51 points - to 36,110.21 during the session, having started the day above the 36,000 mark in a gap-up opening. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark strengthened to as high as 10,631.30 compared to its previous close of 10,551.70. Gains in IT, energy and automobile shares supported the markets, however losses in metal and select financial stocks limited the upside.
The Sensex ended 168.57 points - or 0.47 per cent - higher at 36,012.27, and the Nifty settled at 10,607.35, up 55.65 points - or 0.53 per cent - from its previous close.
Top gainers in the 50-scrip Nifty basket were Eicher Motors, Adani Ports, Bharti Airtel, Hero MotoCorp and NTPC, closing between 1.98 per cent and 4.18 per cent higher.
On the other hand, JSW Steel, Tata Steel, IndusInd Bank, Zee Entertainment and HDFC Bank, settling with losses of between 1.28 per cent and 1.77 per cent, were the top Nifty losers.
Reliance Industries shares ended 1.53 per cent higher at Rs 1,787.50 apiece on the BSE, having risen as much as 1.83 per cent during the session, after the conglomerate said US-based Intel Corporation's investment arm will buy a 0.39 per cent stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 1,894.50 crore.
Bharti Airtel shares jumped as much as 4.38 per cent during the session before shutting shop with a gain of 4.05 per cent at Rs 581.10 apiece on the bourse. On Wednesday, the telecom major had said US-based Carlyle Group would invest $235 million (Rs 1,774.25 crore at $1 = Rs 75.50) in its data centre business, Nxtra Data.
Reliance Industries and Bharti Airtel alone contributed 130 points to the gain in Sensex.
"Investors remained upbeat after a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech was found to be well tolerated in early-stage human trials," said Rahul Sharma, market strategist and research head at Equity99 Advisors, an investment advisory firm.
For the week, the Sensex added 850.15 points (2.36 per cent) and the Nifty gained 224.35 points (2.12 per cent). Both benchmark indices have rebounded sharply from a COVID-19-led crash in March, but remain around 13 per cent lower for the year.
Total COVID-19 infections in India jumped by a record 20,903 cases to 625,544, including 18,213 deaths, health ministry data showed on Friday, days after the government eased lockdown rules to revive the economy.
"Also, hopes of a possible settlement between India and China on the border issue provided the much need relief to the traders," he added.
Shares in other Asian markets moved higher after robust data from the US and China bolstered hopes of a global economic rebound, but a record spike in domestic coronavirus cases capped gains.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.08 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei 225 benchmark moved up 0.72 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite, Hong Kong's Hang Seng and South Korea's KOSPI indices recorded gains of 2.01 per cent, 0.99 per cent and 0.80 per cent respectively.
Data showed China's services sector in June expanded at the fastest pace in over a decade, and U. non-farm payrolls saw a better-than-expected jump.
The E-Mini S&P 500 futures gave up early gains and were last seen trading down 0.30 per cent, indicating a negative start for US markets on Friday.
European shares suffered sharp losses in early trade on Friday, with the United Kingdom's FTSE index last seen trading 1.12 per cent lower. France's CAC index and Germany's DAX benchmark were down 1.06 per cent and 0.61 per cent at the time.