The Indian equity benchmarks rose for third session in a row on Thursday joining a global rally driven by continued dovish signals from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, with financials and IT stocks accounting for most of the gains. The benchmarks staged a gap up opening wherein the Sensex rose as much as 604 points and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday high of 15,176.50. However, the benchmarks came off intraday highs due to monthly expiry of February futures and option contracts.
The Sensex ended 258 points higher at 51,039 and Nifty 50 index advanced 115 points to end at 15,097.
Reliance Industries, Axis Bank, Tata Consultancy Services, NTPC, IndusInd Bank and ONGC were among the top movers in the Sensex.
Shares of public sector enterprises witnessed strong buying interest on Thursday a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a strong case for privatization of Public Sector Units and said that the government has "no business to be in business". He also emphasized that his government was working towards the mantra of "monetize or modernise" to benefit citizens.
Index of public sector companies on the National Stock Exchange - Nifty CPSE index - rose as much as 5.3 per cent with all the 12 shares in the index quoting higher.
NBCC was top gainer in the Nifty CPSE index, the stock rose 9 per cent to Rs 43. Coal India climbed 8 per cent, ONGC advanced 5.2 per cent, NTPC added 4.4 per cent, Bharat Electronics rose 4.3 per cent, NMDC advanced 4.2 per cent and NHPC added 4 per cent.
Nine of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended higher led by the Nifty Metal index's 4.15 per cent gain. Media, PSU Bank, Realty and Auto indexes also rose between 1-1.7 per cent.
On the other hand, Nifty Financial Services and FMCG indexes ended lower.
Mid- and small-cap shares outperformed their larger peers as Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indexes advanced around 1.5 per cent each.
Coal India was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose nearly 9 per cent to Rs 157. UPL, Adani Ports, Hindalco, Bharat Petroleum, NTPC, ONGC, Reliance Industries, IndusInd Bank, Tata Motors, Indian Oil, JSW Steel and Cipla also rose between 3-7 per cent.
On the flipside, ICICI Bank, Nestle India, Divi's Labs, Larsen & Toubro, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Titan, HDFC, Hindustan Unilever and Bajaj Finance were among the laggards.
The overall market breadth was extremely positive as 1,783 shares ended higher while 1,173 closed lower on the BSE.