Mumbai: India’s benchmark equity indices managed to close higher on Friday, having pared most of the day’s gains, largely led by a rise in telecom stocks.

BSE Sensex gained 70.21 points or 0.17% to close at 40,356.69, while the Nifty 50 index advanced 23.20 points or 0.20% to close at 11,895.30.

Telecom stocks surged on hope that the government may take steps to help the ailing sector. The telecom operators’ strong operational performance for the quarter ended 30 September also boosted sentiment.

While Vodafone Idea reported a massive 50,921 crore in losses -- the biggest in India’s corporate history-- in the September quarter, the company’s revenue from operations surged more than 37% year-on-year to 10,844 crore during the period. For Bharti Airtel, on the other hand, while provisions of 28,450 crore forced it to report a loss of 23,044 crore in July-September, the company’s consolidated revenue from operations grew nearly 5% from a year earlier to 21,131 crore.

Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel gained 24.7% and 8.4% respectively. The BSE Telecom index gained the most among all sectoral indices, rising 8.4%.

Public sector bank stocks, led by the State Bank of India, rallied after the Supreme Court set aside a National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order that said operational creditors should be treated on a par with financial creditors in the Essar Steel insolvency case. The top court said the NCLAT should not interfere with the decisions of the committee of creditors (CoC) in the Essar Steel insolvency case. In doing so, the apex court has given more weight to the financial creditors.

SBI ended 5.2% higher, while the BSE Bankex closed up nearly 1%.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation fell 0.5% to close at 135.55 after it reported a 36.2% fall in consolidated net profit to 5,275.51 crore for the September quarter. The company’s total income fell 11.2% 1.03 trillion during the reporting quarter.

Divi's Laboratories jumped 5.4% after company said its Unit-I at Lingojigudem, Telangana, has successfully cleared a US Food and Drug Administration inspection. The inspection was carried out during 11-15 November.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals surged 6.7% to close at 301.20 after reporting a consolidated net profit of 255.54 crore for the September quarter compared with a net profit of 414 crore a year ago.