The BSE benchmark Sensex soared 383 points to reclaim the 37,000 mark Monday, posting its biggest gain in nearly six months, led by gains in RIL, ICICI Bank and Bharti Airtel amid sustained foreign fund inflow and positive global cues. According to experts, investors widened their portfolios amid hopes of a win for the incumbent NDA government, following the announcement of 2019 general election dates Sunday. The 30-share Sensex started off on a strong footing and reclaimed the 37,000 mark on widespread buying by investors, and ended at 37,054.10, up by 382.67 points, or 1.04 per cent. This is the highest closing level since September 19 last year when it had closed at 37,121.22. The gauge had settled 53.99 points, or 0.15 per cent, lower at 36,671.43 on Friday.
The NSE Nifty, after climbing to 11,172.40 - its highest since September 26 last year - closed at 11,168.05 points, up 132.65 points, or 1.20 per cent.
Power, oil and gas, PSU, metal, banking, auto, capital goods, infrastructure and healthcare sector stocks witnessed heavy buying through the session. Experts see this as a pre-poll rally following the announcement of 2019 general election dates. Prevailing geopolitical concerns in the wake of recent India-Pakistan military conflicts will be a key factor in the upcoming general elections that may help incumbent NDA government at the centre, they said. Lok Sabha elections will begin on April 11 and will be held over seven phases followed by counting of votes on May 23, the Election Commission announced on Sunday.
In afternoon trade, the rupee appreciated 21 paise to 69.93 against the dollar. Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth Rs 1,095.06 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth Rs 470.7 crore on Friday, provisional data showed.
A firming trend in the rest of Asia, as Chinese markets rebounded on hopes of more policy support for the slowing economy, and a higher opening in European shares also accelerated buying activity here, traders said. Shanghai Composite Index rallied 1.92 per cent, Japan's Nikkei gained 0.47 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.99 per cent and Korea's Kospi rose 0.03 per cent. Among European markets, Frankfurt's DAX rose 0.38 per cent, Paris CAC 40 advanced 0.32 per cent in their early deals, and London's FTSE too gained 0.77 per cent.