Equity indices darted up for the fourth straight session on Monday to close at over three-month highs, boosted by robust buying in market heavyweight Reliance Industries and auto stocks amid firm global trends.
Strong macroeconomic data and a sustained recovery in the rupee on the back of foreign fund inflows also buoyed sentiments, traders said. The 30-share BSE Sensex climbed 545.25 points or 0.95 per cent to finish at 58,115.50. The benchmark closed above the 58,000 level for the first time after April 13 this year.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty advanced 181.80 points or 1.06 per cent to settle at 17,340.05. Auto stocks hogged the limelight in Monday's session as companies reported strong sales data for July. Mahindra & Mahindra topped the Sensex gainers' chart, soaring 6.15 per cent after the auto major posted a 33 per cent increase in domestic passenger vehicle sales in the previous month.
Reliance Industries and Bharti Airtel climbed as much as 2.64 per cent following the culmination of India's biggest ever auction of airwaves, with spectrum worth Rs 1,50,173 crore being sold. Maruti Suzuki, Kotak Mahindra Bank, NTPC, PowerGrid and UltraTech Cement were among the other prominent gainers. However, Sun Pharma, Hindustan Unilever, IndusInd Bank, Nestle India, Asian Paints and TCS closed with losses of up to 2.65 per cent.
On the macroeconomic front, GST collections rose 28 per cent to touch the second-highest level of Rs 1.49 lakh crore in July on the back of economic recovery. India's manufacturing sector activity hit the highest level in eight months in July, driven by a significant rise in business orders, a monthly survey showed on Monday. "FPIs turning net buyers is the major factor driving the uptick in the domestic market. Record low unemployment rate in the Eurozone and fall in crude oil prices increased optimism globally.
"Oil prices took a hit as the deteriorating demand outlook outweighed cues of ongoing supply tightness. Auto stocks were in focus post the release of positive auto sales numbers," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services. In the broader market, the BSE midcap gauge jumped 1.51 per cent and the smallcap index spurted 1.47 per cent.
All the BSE sectoral indices ended in the green, with power rallying at 3.43 per cent, followed by utilities (3.38 per cent), auto (3.23 per cent), telecom (2.49 per cent), industrials (2.31 per cent) and energy (2.10 per cent). "Markets started the week on a positive note, in continuation to last week’s trend... Supportive global cues, as well as healthy buying across sectors, led the benchmark to gradually inch higher as the day progressed," said Ajit Mishra, VP - Research, Religare Broking Ltd.
World stocks were boosted by strong corporate earnings and expectations of slowing rate hikes by central banks. In Asia, markets in Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong ended higher. Bourses in Europe were trading in the green during mid-session deals. The US markets had ended on a higher note on Friday.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude declined 1.35 per cent to USD 102.6 per barrel. The rupee appreciated by 22 paise to close at 79.02 (provisional) against the US dollar on Monday amid risk-on sentiments, a decline in crude oil prices and weak American currency overseas. Foreign institutional investors remained net buyers in the capital markets as they bought shares worth Rs 1,046.32 crore on Friday, as per exchange data.