By a staff writer
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 2006. The National Stock Exchange index Nifty spurted by 151.65 points, at 3,778.50. ICICI Bank (Rs863.40 at close) and Infosys Technologies (Rs2,142.35) led among stocks with the largest capitalization, gaining 4.5% and 2.4%, respectively.
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, or 3.5%, to 1,334.8 while IPCL gained Rs 28.15, or 12%, to 259.80 after touching day’s high of Rs 273.
The positive sentiment received a bigger boost with the Prime Minister said he expects 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.