Benchmark stock indices surged again on Thursday with hopes that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would cut interest rates following the release of exports data by the government earlier in the day. Though exports for 2012-13 have fallen by 1.76 per cent, the data shows marked improvement in March trade deficit numbers.

With buying activity gaining momentum from the second-half, the BSE Sensex surged past the 19000-mark to close with a gain of 285.30 points at 19016.46.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty surged to its one month high to close at 5783.10, up 94.40 points.

Capital Goods, banking and automobile stocks led the rally. The top Nifty gainers included IndusInd Bank, IDFC, BhartiAirtel, Tata Motors and Axis Bank.

Top Sensex gainers included Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors, L&T, HDFC and GAIL. Other than Wipro and TCS, all other Sensex stocks closed with gains.

“The markets opened on a flat note, and bounced back on the back of strong buying interest. It closed in the positive terrain tracking the positive European markets. Barring the IT sector which closed down around 0.31 per cent, all other sectors closed in the green,’’ said Alex Mathews, Head Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

Rupee bounces back

The rupee on Thursday bounced back by 25 paise to close at over one-month high of 53.96 against the U.S. dollar on rally in domestic equities and fresh dollar selling by traders enthused by a lower trade deficit.

A weak dollar overseas and a further fall in prices of key commodities also helped the rupee, a forex dealer said.