The see-saw battle between bulls and bears continued on Dalal Street as benchmark indices jumped on Thursday on low level buying and positive global cues following a day of selling. The fall in commodity prices and short covering ahead of weekly expiry also spurred buying.
Stock market bulls were also unfazed by hawking commentary from US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell and they also rebuffed some bearish projections by foreign brokerages.
Auto names were among the biggest risers during the day, led by up to 5 per cent gains in Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp, and Eicher Motors. On the other hand, PowerGrid, Titan and Apollo Hospitals were among losers.
As of noon, Sensex was up 340 points at 52,162 and NSE Nifty up 100 points at 15,500. Earlier in the day, Sensex had climbed more than 600 points. Equity investors were sitting on gains of Rs 3.16 lakh crore as reflected in market cap gains of BSE-listed firms. The total market cap stood at Rs 240.37 lakh crore.
Below are key factors driving markets higher:
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures skidded $2.6, or 2.7 per cent, to $103.46 a barrel by 0330 GMT. Brent crude futures slid $2.5, or 2.3 per cent, to $109.22 a barrel.
Falling prices are positive for the Indian economy, which imports about 85 per cent of oil needs.
Commodity prices have also fallen in recent days. Bloomberg Commodity Index fell below 100-DMA, reflecting the drop in prices.Low level buying
Nifty is trading close to its 10-year average valuations, which many believe is reasonable. Some think Nifty can go down to as much as 14500 level.Auto stocks rally
The outlook of the sector has improved after the government increased tariffs on export of metals, which is likely to lead to a decrease in input prices.Central bank commentaryIn the minutes of its meeting, the Indian central bank said its rate action was aimed at ensuring price stability even while recognising that growth initiatives still deserved a helping hand from the Mint Road.
“This action will reinforce our commitment to price stability — our primary mandate and a prerequisite for sustainable growth over the medium term,” said central bank chief Shaktikanta Das.Meanwhile, Powell said the US central bank is "strongly committed" to bringing down inflation that is running at a 40-year high.