The markets ended firm after a volatile session with the benchmark index closing at 16,861 levels, up 07% or 124 points.
The 30-share index moved in a broad range of 16,546 – 16,897 levels in intra-day deals. In broader markets, the Nifty gained 30 points and closed at 5,012 levels.
Heavy selling emerged in most counters around noon as the industrial production figures for March were announced. The IIP slipped to 3% for the last month of the previous financial year, much below the market expectation. Industrial output rose 8.1% in FY08 as compared to 11.6% in FY07.
“If the Sensex fails to hold 16,668, the next support is placed at 16,523. A breach on the downside can take it to 16,356 – 16,482 levels,” said Birendrakumar Singh, technical analyst, Religare Securities.
Leading the turnaround among the BSE 30 scrips was Ranbaxy Laboratories. In a major development, the Indian pharma company has inked a deal to develop anti-infective drugs for Merck & Co Inc. The stock surged 5.3% to close at Rs494.
Strength was also visible in Ambuja Cements, Cipla, HDFC Bank, ITC Limited, Reliance Communication, TCS Limited and Wipro.
Among sectoral indices, buying in technology scrips helped the BSE IT index gain 1.5%. Financial Technologies, HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra, Infosys Technologies, TCS Limited, Mphasis and Satyam Computer logged smart gains.