Mumbai, Aug 31: Equities extended gains for the second consecutive session on Friday after the Prime Minister's optimistic comments calmed nervous investors as the benchmark index Nifty rallied by a healthy 63 points on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).
Strong buying was seen in most beaten down sectors on the back of steady recover in the rupee in response to the RBI's recent supportive moves. The market sentiment got a boost after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, speaking in Parliament, sought to allay concerns about the prevailing weak economic scenario and the sliding rupee.
He assured the country's growth will pick up soon and vowed to do whatever is necessary to contain the fiscal deficit at 4.8 per cent of GDP. Trading commenced on a subdued note following profit taking after overnight sharp rally and investor caution ahead of the first quarter GDP numbers, which were announced after market hours.
The key index soon regained momentum due to some low- level buying and hectic short-covering amidst volatility. The tailend session, however, witnessed strong buying activity as investors returned to market after Prime Minister assuaged investor sentiment, which has taken a severe beating.
FMCG, financial, technology, healthcare and energy counters saw frenzied buying, while auto, metal, realty and infra stocks remained under intense selling pressure. Among other Asian markets, barring Japan's Nikkei, most other stocks finished higher amid easing fears of an imminent strike on Syria.
The 50-share index swung between a high of 5,493.30 and a low of 5,360.20 before closing at 5,471.80, registering a rise of 62.75, or 1.16 per cent, over the last close. Bajaj Auto, Cipla, TCS, HDFC, HUL, Asian Paints, HDFC Bank, Ambuja Cement, UltraTech and HCL Tech were among the top gainers from the Nifty pack.
Key laggards included Jindal Steel, Grasim, Ranbaxy, Tata Steel, Hindalco, Tata Motors, Sesa Goa, Tata Power, M&M and NMDC. Turnover in the cash segment jumped to Rs 16,681.05 crore from Rs 15,789.59 crore yesterday. A total of 7,711.28 lakh shares changed hands in 76,16,513 trades. The market capitalisation stood at Rs 58,46,627 crore.