Mumbai, Feb 26: Led by realty and power stocks, the Sensex rallied for the second consecutive today on the Bombay Stock Exchange to close firm at 17,806.19 with a modest gain of 155.62 points on renewed bull support by Foreign Institutional Ivestors (FII's) and some domestic institutional investors and presentation of a 'populist' railway budget. The market pared gains in late trade after touching a fresh intra-day high in mid-afternoon trade after Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav provided thrust on modernising rail infrastructure in Railway Budget 2008-09, presented in Parliament today.
The Market opened on a firm note, tracking a steady to firm trend in Asian stocks. Metal, capital goods, banking, realty and power stocks rose. The market breadth was strong. Mid-cap and small-cap indices outperformed the Sensex. 21 stocks from 30-member Sensex pack were in the green. The key equity stocks opened with a modest gap and traded flat for most part of the day. Sensex and Nifty picked up some momentum in late trade on the back of some short covering before F&O settlement this week and ended with over 1 per cent gain on Nifty and nearly 1 per cent gain on Sensex. It was a day of consolidation as not much excitement was witnessed despite favourable cues from the global markets, coupled with yet another profitable and forward looking Railway budget 2008-09.
It was more of stocks specific day for the markets. Broader markets outperformed the benchmark indices today. Realty, power, metal, capital goods and IT stocks traded firm. However, all the key BSE indices traded in green throughout the day. Sensex ended up 155.62 points or 0.88 per cent (pc) at 17806.19, and the Nifty was up 69.35 points or 1.33 per cent at 5270.05. About 1749 shares advanced, 1207 shares declined, and 79 were unchanged.
BSE indices were also in limelight. CG index rose sharply by 324.09 points and ended high at 16,124.36 points, followed by METAL index by 270 to 16,801.01 points, Realty index by 247.18 to 10,016.49 points, OILS&GAS index by 157.38 to 11,214.76 points, PSU index by 129.71 to 8438.08 points, SML CAP index by 122.21 to 9648.49 points, Power and BANKEX indicies by 95.62 and 76.34 points repectively and closed at 3706.80 points for Power and for BANKEX indices at 10,189.48 points.
The broader based S&P CNX Nifty index of NSE was up 69.65 points or 1.33 per cent (PC) at 5,270.05 from it last finish. Global cues and railway budget boosted positive sentiment in the market, which clocked highest turnover of the month, brokers added. Infosys was up 2.4 pc to Rs 1,652.10 and Wipro by 0.49 pc to Rs 441.70. Shares of three oil refinery firms rose between 3.64 pc to 4.18 pc after a cut in freight rates by 5 pc on petrol and diesel announced in the Railway Budget for 2008/09. Indian Oil Corporation was up by 3.64 pc to Rs 548.10, Bharat Petroleum Corporation increased by 4.18 pc to Rs 451.25 and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation gained by 3.93 pc to Rs 305.30.
Indiabulls Real Estate was up by 11.06 pc to Rs 642.45, followed by Unitech by 2.17 pc to Rs 390.45 and Housing Development nfrastructure by 1.56 pc to Rs 836.40. Jindal Stainless rose by 7.39 pc to Rs 160.65 on hopes of higher demand for stainless steel, after the railway budget announced introduction of stainless steel coaches in express trains.
National Alluminium Company gained by 7.64 pc to Rs 465, followed by Steel Authority of India by 2.34 pc to Rs 244.85), Sterlite Industries by 3.76 pc to Rs 845. India's largest private sector firm by market capitalization and oil refiner Reliance Industries (RIL) was up by 0.94 pc to Rs 2,575.75.
Thermax was up by 5.03 pc to Rs 676, Suzlon Energy rose by 6.26 pc to Rs 314.85, Bharat Heavy Electricals gained by 4.85 pc to Rs 2,180.55 and Larsen&Toubro hardened by 0.72 pc to Rs 3,518.25.
Banking stocks edged higher. HDFC Bank rose by 2.27 pc to Rs 1,455. As per reports after acquiring Centurion Bank of Punjab, HDFC Bank, the second largest private sector bank after ICICI Bank.
In Power stocks, India's second largest power utility firm by revenue Reliance Energy rose by 4.95 pc to Rs 1,697.25 after company said its board will meet on March 5 to consider, buy back of equity shares of the company. Tata Power Company was up by 0.44 pc to Rs 1,356.05,PowereGrid Corporation of India gained by 0.44 pc to Rs 102.45 and NTPC moved up by 0.27 pc to Rs 203.90.
However, Satyam Computer Services was down by 1.18 pc to Rs 445 and Tata Consultancy Services dropped by 0.45 pc to Rs 896). Tata Steel declined by 0.41 pc to Rs 805.25. while State Bank of India, India's biggest commervial bank, declined by 0.36 pc to Rs 2,119.85 while Reliance Power eased by 0.54 pc at Rs 447.95 and DLF declined by 0.19 pc to Rs 832.60.
India's largest truck maker by sales Tata Motors eased by 0.46 pc to Rs 702.10. As per reports US-based automaker Ford Motor Company could announce as early as late next week the sale of its luxury Jaguar and Land Rover brands to the Indian company.
Bharti Airtel was down by 1.38 pc to Rs 838.80,followed by ITC by 0.35 pc to Rs 201.25 and HDFC by 0.48 pc to Rs 2,574.35.