The Indian stock markets closed higher on Thursday for the third day in a row as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appeared poised to win four of five state elections. FMCG, public sector banks and real estate led the broad rally.
The markets, however, finished modestly off highs, with European markets down up to 1% in early trades as investors followed the Ukraine conflict and commodity price swings. Futures contracts tied to major Wall Street indices also traded in the red.
The S&P BSE Sensex fell 778 points from its high of the day of 56,242 to settle 817 points, or 1.5%, higher at 55,464. The broader Nifty50 finished at 16,595, up 249 points or 1.5%.
The biggest gainer on the 50-stock index was HUL (up 5%), followed by Tata Steel, Grasim Industries, SBI, Tata Consumer Products, JSW Steel, Axis Bank, Tata Motors, IOC, and IndusInd Bank. All of these stocks increased between 3% and 4%.
Just six stocks on the index finished in the red, including Coal India (down 4.4%), Tech Mahindra, ONGC, Dr Reddy’s Labs, UPL and TCS.
The broader indices climbed in line with their large-cap counterparts, with the BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices both adding 1%.
Entertainment Network (India) shares rose 14% to Rs 214.75 on the BSE in intraday trade on Thursday, owing to high volumes. The company’s stock, which operates India’s FM radio station Radio Mirchi, was trading around its 52-week high of Rs 226.95, set on August 2, 2021.
Today, over 2,400 equities closed in the green, compared to less than 1,000 stocks that ended in the red. India VIX, a volatility gauge, fell 7% as well.