Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday surged by nearly 200 points on heavy buying by funds, sparked by robust earnings from ICICI Bank amid firm global trends on account of ECB's pledge to contain the eurozone debt crisis.
     
Snapping its two-day losing string, the 30-share barometer closed higher by 199.37 points, or 1.20 percent, at 16,839.19 points. It had touched a high of 16,975.03 on firm Asian stocks, a rise of over 335 points, but later fell back on some weakness in European markets in morning deals.
     
In the last two sessions, it had fallen by over 278 points or 1.64 percent.
     
The NSE 50-share Nifty also rose by 56.85 points or 1.13 percent to finish at 5,099.85.
    
Private banking shares were in the limelight after ICICI Bank posted good Q1 results. ICICI Bank rose by 2.35 percent while HDFC Bank jumped by over 3 percent.
     
However, state-owned banks, including SBI and Punjab National Bank, were at the receiving end after some of the PSU banks reported rise in net non-performing assets (NPAs). SBI fell by over 3 percent to close at Rs 1,941.20, restricting some of the gains.
    
The market commenced on a buoyant note on strong Asian trends after the European Central Bank (ECB) promised to keep the euro zone intact. Key benchmark indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan rose by between 0.13 percent and 2.62 percent.
     
Metal sector stocks led by Tata Steel and Sterlite Industries rose as base metal prices surged in global markets.
     
Among the 30 Sensex scrips, 24 stocks closed with gains with metal, IT and auto indices recording handsome gains.
     
Reliance Industries rose by 1.42 percent to Rs 720.40 and Infosys by 1.12 percent to Rs 2,148.85. Tata Consultancy Services rose by 1.92 percent to Rs 1,225.75.

The major gainers were HDFC Bank, ITC, Mahindra and Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Sun Pharma, Tata Motors, Tata Powers, Bharti Airtel, Coal India, HDFC Ltd and Wipro.
    
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) continued their selling spree for the third straight and they sold shares worth Rs 1,641.20 crore in these days, including provisional data of July 26 as per stock exchanges.
    
Tata Steel was the top gainer from the Sensex pack with a rise of 3.94 percent followed by Tata Motors (3.88 percent), Sterlite Ind (3.22 percent), Hindalco (3.12 percent) and Bharti Airtel (2.06 percent).
     
ITC jumped by 1.98 percent, TCS (1.92 percent), Coal India (1.33 percent), Wipro (1.27 percent), Tata Power (1.23 percent), and Sun Pharma by 1.02 percent).
    
However, BHEL fell by 1.93 percent and Hero MotoCorp by 1.58 percent.
    
Among sectoral indices, BSE-Metal firmed up by 2.09 percent, BSE-FMCG by 1.35 percent, BSE-IT by 1.28 percent, BSE-Teck by 1.09 percent and BSE-Auto by 0.98 percent.
    
However, the market breadth continued to remain negative as 1,703 stocks closed with losses while 1,060 scrips finished with gains.
    
The total turnover was up at Rs 2,174.96 crore from Rs 1,818.43 crore on Thursday.

(Agencies)

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