The BSE benchmark Sensex settled 147 points higher on Friday, tracking gains in index-heavyweights HDFC Bank and Infosys ahead of the earnings season. After rallying 323 points during the day, the 30-share BSE index pared some gains to end 147.37 points, or 0.36 per cent, higher at 41,599.72.
The broader Nifty scaled its life-time (intra-day) high of 12,311.20, before ending 40.90 points, or 0.33 per cent, higher at 12,256.80. Infosys was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising 1.47 per cent, ahead of its quarterly results, scheduled for release after market hours.
Other gainers included Ultratech Cement, Maruti, Kotak Bank, Asian Paints and HUL. ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Titan and Bharti Airtel were among the losers, shedding up to 1.11 per cent. According to traders, focus has now shifted to quarterly earnings and the Union Budget. Investors are expecting measures from the government to revive the economy which has led to broad-based participation in equities.
In the previous session, Sensex rallied 634.61 points, or 1.55 per cent, to end at 41,452.35, and Nifty surged 190.55 points, or 1.58 per cent, to 12,215.90. Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign institutional investors sold equities worth Rs 431.11 crore, while domestic institutional investors purchased shares worth Rs 419.22 crore on Thursday, data available with stock exchanges showed.
Further, easing geopolitical tensions have also kept market mood upbeat, they said. Brent crude oil futures slipped 0.31 per cent to USD 65.17 per barrel. The rupee appreciated 18 paise to 71.03 per US dollar (intra-day). Bourses in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul ended up to 0.91 per cent higher, while Shanghai closed with losses. European markets started on a tepid note.
Gold prices fell by Rs 80 to Rs 40,554 per 10 gram in the national capital on Friday amid muted international trend and a stronger rupee, according to HDFC Securities. On Thursday, the yellow metal had closed at Rs 40,634 per 10 gram. Silver also declined by Rs 200 to Rs 47,695 per kg from Rs 47,895 per kg in the previous trade.
HDFC Securities Head - Advisory (PCG) Devarsh Vakil said, “Gold prices traded with minor loss as appetite for risk is back with higher equities and lower international gold prices. Strength in rupee also weighed on domestic gold prices.’’ The domestic currency gained 14 paise to 71.07 per dollar during the day, Vakil added.
During the opening trade on Friday, the Indian rupee rose 7 paise to 71.14 against the US dollar buoyed by sliding oil prices and a firm trend at global markets. In the international market, both gold and silver depicted a sluggish trend and were trading flat at USD 1,551 per ounce and USD 17.93 per ounce, respectively.