Bargain hunting bailed out markets today as the Sensex rebounded by almost 122 points, taking comfort from a positive close in Asia despite contagion fears of the Brexit fallout looming large.
There was large-scale optimism in anticipation of Japan launching a fresh round of economic stimulus to counter the implications of the UK vote to exit the European Union.
Investors still were not in a mood to go the whole hog and kept their portfolios limited ahead of the approaching monthly expiry in the derivatives segment on Thursday.
A higher opening in Europe, the pound sterling firming up for the first time since the Brexit carnage, a stronger rupee against the dollar and signs of stability in commodity prices kept sentiment upbeat.
The benchmark Sensex closed with a gain of 121.59 points, or 0.46 per cent, at 26,524.55. The index had gained 5.25 points in yesterday’s volatile trade. Also, the 50-share NSE Nifty regained the key 8,100-mark and settled higher by 33.15 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 8,127.85.
Reports of good progress in monsoon rains lifted consumer goods makers such as HUL and ITC that to an extent depend on the rural economy, dealers said. Hindustan Unilever surged 3.25 per cent while ITC rose 2.59 per cent.
Lupin stayed in the lead with a gain of 4.39 per cent, followed by Cipla (1.61 per cent), Coal India (1.43 per cent), Bharti Airtel (1.35 per cent) and Mahindra & Mahindra (1.34 per cent).
Out of the 30-share Sensex pack, 19 ended higher. Tata Communications rose 2.44 per cent after the company sold its majority stake in South African Internet-service provider Neotel Pty to telecommunications firm Econet Wireless Global for USD 293 million (about Rs 1,992 crore).
On the sectoral front, FMCG gained the most by rising 1.75 per cent, followed by metal, oil & gas and PSU. Continued buying by retail investors helped small-cap and mid-cap indexes, which moved up 0.79 per cent and 0.48 per cent, respectively.
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth net Rs 146.11 crore yesterday. Overseas, key indices in France, Germany and the UK rose by 2-2.3 per cent. Asian stocks too ended higher. Japan’s Nikkei firmed up 0.09 per cent and Shanghai Composite 0.58 per cent.