Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex shook of the slump of the past few days to surge ahead by 469.60 points, or 3.73%, to close at 13,049.35 on 8 March in the biggest single-day gain on the exchange since 15 June last year. Trading volumes of Rs3,778 crore saw 1,751 stocks advance, while the number of declines was less than half at 773.
The National Stock Exchange index Nifty spurted 134.80 points, or 3.72%, to close at 3,761.65.
The market had started the day on a positive note, with the Sensex gaining 162 points in early trade, due to heavy purchases by funds, who were in turn spurred by the Reliance Industries-IPCL merger announcement to create a Rs50,000-crore integrated petrochemical business. Reliance Industries stocks shot up by 45.45 rupees on the BSE, or 3.5%, to 1,334.8 while IPCL gained Rs28.15, or 12%, to 259.80 after touching day’s high of Rs273.
Some of the other counters that saw considerable investor interest included Hindustan Lever, which shot up 9.5% to Rs183.80, ICICI Bank (up 4.45% to Rs863.40) and Infosys Technologies (2.42%, Rs2,142.35).
Sentiment was further propelled with the Prime Minister’s views on economic growth - he said he expected the economy to grow at 9%-plus in financial year 2007-08 -- and his statement at a New Delhi conference that more public sector units would be put on the disinvestment block.
Besides, firmer Asian markets —the Nikkei 225 index was up 2% and above 17,000 points while the the Hang Seng rose 256.53 points to 19,175.17— also saw investors coming back.