The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes staged a sharp up move in trade on Thursday led by gains in auto and information technology shares. The benchmarks opened higher and built on the rally in noon deals wherein the Sensex advanced as much as 600 points to briefly move above 36,000-mark and Nifty touched an intraday high of 10,598.20. HDFC, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Reliance Industries and ITC were among the top Sensex movers and they collectively contributed over 300 points towards gain in the 30-share index. With today's gains, Sensex and Nifty moved to their highest levels since March 9.
The Sensex ended 429 points or 1.21 per cent to close at 35,843.70 and Nifty surged 122 points or 1.17 per cent to end at 10,551.70.
Strong gains across European markets also helped in boosting investor sentiment as encouraging coronavirus vaccine trials kept investors' spirits up. England's FTSE 100 rose 0.8 per cent, France's CAC40 index climbed 1.5 per cent and Germany's DAX surged 1.8 per cent.
Back home, eight 0f 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended higher led by the Nifty Auto index's 2.8 per cent gain. IT, metal, pharma and financial services shares also witnessed buying interest.
On the other hand, Nifty Bank index fell 0.1 per cent.
Railways stocks surged 4-11 per cent each in early trading after the Ministry of Railways invited proposals from the private companies to run passenger trains, in an attempt to overhaul the creaking infrastructure and facilitate growth in the sector.
On July 1, the railways ministry invited qualification proposals from private companies to run trains 151 modern trains over 109 pairs of routes. This project would entail private investment of about Rs 30,000 crore, the ministry said in a statement.
Mahindra & Mahindra was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose over 5 per cent to Rs 525 after its tractor sales rose 12 per cent year-on-year to 35,844 units in June.
Hero MotoCorp, Titan, Cipla, HCL Technologies, Infosys, Indian Oil, Tata Steel, TCS, HDFC, Tech Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki were also among the gainers.
On the flipside, Axis Bank, UPL, Vedanta, Hindustan Unilever, Eicher Motors, Bharti Airtel and NTPC were among the notable losers.
The overall market breadth was positive as 1,716 shares ended higher while 1,047 closed lower on the BSE.