The Sensex today saw the benchmark index jump 2.1% on close, posting the biggest jump in 9 weeks. The gains were led by ICICI as the global markets improved after Greece avoided a immediate default, and paved way for a further bailout by European countries.
Analysts were however cautious, as Congress fortunes took a hit in the assembly elections casting a cloud over prospects for further reforms. The recent move in the market is seen as a move towards stabilization. The markets are expected to take a cautious view ahead of the budget.
“Ahead of the monetary policy and budget, the market is expected to have some stabilisation and that is what I am seeing right now,” said Deven Choksey, head of K R Choksey Shares and Securities.
The benchmark 30-share Sensex of the BSE index rose 2.09% to 17,503.24 points, posting its biggest gain since January 10. Of the 30 shares, 23 posted gains. Overall the index has dropped nearly 0.8% week ended Friday. The markets were shut on Thursday for Holi.
“This is a bounceback. The rise is in line with the international markets, and since we were closed for a day in between we are catching up on that,” Ambareesh Baliga of Way2Wealth Securities said.
ICICI Bank led the gains with a gain of 6.28%, while SBI rose 3.96%. ICICI is the second largest lender in the country, and the SBI is the biggest PSU bank. The rise were fuelled by the cut in the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR). This is the proportion of deposit that banks must keep with the RBI. HDFC Bank the third largest bank by assets, gained 1.46%. while the RBI had kept its policy rates stable in the January 24 review, the CRR had been cut by 50 basis points to 5.5%. Today, after the markets closed the RBI cut its CRR rate by another 75 basis points to bring it down to 4.75%
The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also closed higher at 5,333.55 points, up 2.17 percent or 113.1 points.
Broader markets too were in the green. The BSE midcap index ended 2.16 percent higher, while the BSE smallcap index was up 1.35 percent. Metals, capital goods and banking stocks were among major gainers.
“Indian indices outperformed most of the global indices today. Positive global cues kept the markets strong throughout the session and they closed with gains of more than 2 percent,” said Dipen Shah, head of fundamental research, Kotak Securities.