Rising for the second day, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday jumped by 127.75 points to end at one-week high level of 18,542.20 on the back of solid 3-4 per cent gains in shares of Infosys, ICICI Bank and Tata Motors ahead of consumer inflation and IIP data tomorrow.

The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer resumed strong and moved in a range of 18,599.14 and 18,397.94 before concluding at one-week high of 18,542.20 - a gain of 127.75 points or 0.69 per cent. On Wednesday, it rose by 187.97 points.

Thursday’s close was the highest since 18,801.64 on April 3.

Similarly, the CNX Nifty of the NSE also improved further by 35.30 points or 0.64 per cent to end at 5,594.00.

Brokers said buying was seen in realty, IT, banking and capital goods counters ahead of IIP and CPI data to be released on Friday. Infosys, which surged by 3.72 per cent, is also expected to help set the tone for markets tomorrow as the IT bellwether will come out with its quarterly earnings.

Tata Motors, ICICI Bank, L&T, HDFC Bank, ONGC, Sun Pharma and SBI also attracted good buying interest.

Sentiment also improved after data showed Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 40.22 crore on Wednesday.

However, Bharti Airtel was the biggest loser in Sensex as it fell 2.31 per cent after it was restrained by Supreme Court from providing 3G roaming services to new customers in 7 circles where it does not have licence to do so on Thursday.

Barring China, other Asian stocks closed with gains, as the yen neared 100 to the dollar after the Bank of Japan said it will maintain stimulus and loan growth in China topped estimates. European markets too were quoting higher in their early trade.

Key Asian benchmark indices in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan rose by 0.30 per cent to 1.96 per cent. US stocks climbed yesterday after reports said minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting quelled fears that the central bank will slow its monthly bond purchases.

In Europe, France’s CAC was up by 0.60 per cent, Germany’s DAX by 0.55 per cent and the FTSE by 0.33 per cent.

Back home, 16 out of 30-Sensex based scrips closed up.

“Traders are awaiting the crucial macroeconomic data due for release for directional cues,” said ICICIdirect.com.

The February IIP data and March consumer price index inflation number are keenly awaited by investors to understand RBI’s stance on further rate cuts, analysts said.

Tata Motors was the top gainer from the Sensex pack with a rise of 3.92 per cent, followed by ICICI Bank (3.52 pc), L&T (2.05 pc), Sun Pharma (1.81 pc), Cipla (1.73 pc), ONGC (1.41 pc), HDFC Bank (1.10 pc), Maruti Suzuki (1.04 pc) and SBI (1.02 pc).

However, Bharti Airtel dropped by 2.31 per cent, followed by Tata Steel (2.24 pc), HDFC (1.90 pc), NTPC (1.48 pc), Bajaj Auto (1.42 pc), RIL (1.27 pc) and Tata Power (1.10 pc).

Among the sectoral indices, the S&P BSE—Realty rose by 2.21 per cent, followed by S&P BSE—IT (2.04 pc), S&P Bankex (1.53 pc), S&P BSE—Teck (1.49 pc) and S&P BSE—CG (1.25 pc).

The total market breadth remained positive as 886 stocks closed with gains while 796 others concluded with losses and 765 scrips closed stable. The total turnover was relatively low at Rs 1,696.44 crore from Rs 1,816.41 crore on Wednesday.

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