It was a steady session as afternoon trade gathered momentum. Led by strength in banks, the market closed the day with handsome gains. The Sensex ended the day gaining 207.89 points at 19570.44 while the Nifty added 57.75 points to end at 5908.95.
Banking stocks turned out to be star of the day as investors are expecting a rate cut by Reserve Bank of India in its monetary policy on March 19. Some of the banking stocks, which were marred in the money laundering controversy , also recovered during the day. Big gainers from the sector were SBI (3.5 percent), HDFC Bank (up 2.3 percent) and ICICI Bank (up 2.3 percent).
Realty stocks too saw a strong upmove in today's trade. Unitech was up 6.1 percent, Prestige Estate gained 7.9 percent, HDIL added 2.7 percent while DLF was up 1.5 percent.
Reliance Communication was up 5.6% on media reports that Batelco is in talks to buy controlling stake in Reliance Globalcom. Bahrain Telecommunication Company (Batelco) is discussing a deal to buy controlling stake in Reliance Globalcom, the enterprise business unit of Anil Ambani's Reliance Communications. Reliance Industries closed above the Rs 850-mark at Rs 860.65, up 2% on the BSE.
Other big gainers on the Sensex included Maruti Suzuki (up 3.4 percent) and Tata Power (up 2.9 percent).
Meanwhile, major losers on the Sensex were Gail, Bajaj Auto, Sun Pharma, Bharti Airtel and Hero MotoCorp.
Shares of Kennametal India, which manufactures standard toolkit for machining turbine blades, crashed 9.1 percent amid hefty volumes on Thursday after the company fixed lower offer price for its offer for sale (OFS).
All eyes will be on oil marketing companies as petrol price may be reduced by about Re 1 per litre while diesel price may be hiked by 40-50 paise a litre from March 15-16.
According to Amit Dalal of Tata Investment the market will remain rangebound for another quarter. "I don't see how this market can go on to a new high without the back of some other banks or the oil and gas sector getting revalued by another 20 percent, which is not going to happen," he said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.
Sudarshan Sukhani, s2analytics.com recommends to go long on Bank Nifty.
The market picked up steam in afternoon trade. The Sensex gained 183.06 points at 19545.61 while the Nifty was at 5904, up 53.55 points, led by strength in banks.
The BSE Sensex is up 0.83 percent while the 50-share Nifty gains 0.82 percent, as February core inflation at 3.8 percent gives enough headroom for rate cut by the RBI in its policy review on March 19, dealers say.
Key equity benchmarks recovered from day's low after the February WPI inflation data was announced.
The market was moved down by ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank, which fell 1.50 percent, 1.91 percent and 2.39 percent respectively in early trade.
At 09.19 AM, the Sensex rose 34.01 points at 19396.56 and the Nifty gained 6.75 points at 5857.95.
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Market in fine fettle; 2014-end Sensex target at 26300:Citi