EQUITY benchmarks defied gravity for the second straight session on Friday on expectations of measures from the Centre to jumpstart the sluggish economy and assuage investor concerns over taxation.
After rallying 480 points during the day, the 30-share BSE Sensex settled 254.55 points or 0.68 per cent higher at 37,581.91. The broader NSE Nifty jumped 77.20 points or 0.70 per cent to 11,109.65.
During the week, the Sensex gained 463.69 points or 1.24 per cent, while the Nifty advanced 112.30 points or 1.02 per cent.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) here on Friday amid indications that the higher surcharge imposed on them in the Budget may be reconsidered.
Sitharaman and finance ministry officials also met captains of the industry on Thursday and assured them that the Governmentwill take action to boost the economy.
Hopes of multiple measures from the Centre to lift growth and address tax concerns fuelled the rally in domestic equities over the last two sessions, traders said.
Top gainers in the Sensex pack on Friday included Maruti, Bajaj Finance, Vedanta, HDFC twins, HUL, Kotak Bank and ICICI bank, which surged up to 3.36 per cent.
On the other hand, Yes Bank was the biggest laggard, cracking 7.91 per cent. Tech Mahindra, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, ITC and Sun Pharma too fell up to 2.50 per cent.
“Indications from the Governmentto announce measures to boost private investments and relaxation in super-rich tax for FPIs fuelled positive momentum in the market. Profit booking was witnessed in defensive segments like IT stocks but the rally was broad based.
“Trend may be unpredictable in the near-term, nevertheless stability in taxation, ease in liquidity, supportive measures and fall in interest rates will benefit the economy in the second half of the year,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
Sectorally, BSE auto, finance, consumer durables, bankex, realty and FMCG indices gained up to 1.99 per cent.
On the other hand, metal, teck, telecom, IT, power, utilities and healthcare fell up to 0.83 per cent.
Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices followed the benchmarks, rising up to 1 per cent.
On the global front, equities remained subdued amid trade war concerns, while political uncertainties in Italy weighed on European bourses.
Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai Composite Index, Hang Seng, Kospi and Nikkei ended on a mixed note. Equities in Europe were trading in the red in their respective early sessions.
Meanwhile, the Indian rupee depreciated 12 paise to 70.81 against the US dollar intra-day.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.73 per cent to USD 57.80 per barrel.