The Sensex rebounded 1,413.8 points from its intraday low to finish the day near the 56,250 mark. The Nifty50 settled recovered to settle near the 16,800 level, having slid below 16,400 during the session. Gains in metal, IT and oil & gas powered the recovery in headline indices, though losses in financial and auto shares played spoilsport.
Indian equity benchmarks recovered initial losses in a volatile session on Monday, extending gains to a second straight day, ahead of the release of the country's official GDP data. Gains in metal, IT and oil & gas powered the recovery in headline indices, though losses in financial and auto shares limited the upside.
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However, investors globally remained nervous amid heightened geopolitical tensions after the imposition of new Western sanctions on Russia over Ukraine.
The Sensex finished the session up 388.8 points or 0.7 percent at 56,247.3, rebounding 1,413.8 points from the weakest level of the day. The Nifty50 settled at 16,793.9, up 135.5 points or 0.8 percent from its previous close, making a comeback after sliding below the 16,400 mark during the session.
Hindalco, Tata Steel, Power Grid, JSW Steel, BPCL, Titan and Coal India -- closing between 3.5 percent and 7.2 percent higher -- were among the top blue-chip gainers. On the other hand, HDFC Life, Dr Reddy's, Axis Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, HDFC Bank, HDFC and Eicher -- falling between 1.6 percent and three percent for the day -- were the worst hit among the 16 laggards in the Nifty50 pack.
Reliance Industries, Infosys, ICICI Bank and Tata Steel were the biggest contributors to the gain in both headline indices.
The Nifty Bank index closed 0.6 percent lower, though having recovered much of its intraday loss. ICICI Bank rose 1.6 percent and SBI 0.2 percent, but Kotak Mahindra Bank fell 0.9 percent, HDFC Bank 1.9 percent and Axis Bank 2.2 percent.
Hindalco, Tata Steel and JSW Steel surged amid a rise in commodity stocks. The Nifty Metal index surged five percent.
"Metal stocks rallied on hopes that curtailing Russian exports would help Indian steelmakers capture the export market share," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
Kunal Shah, Head of Commodities and Currency Research at Nirmal Bang Commodities, told CNBC-TV18 he expects metal prices to rise further till there is any positive outcome from talks between Russia and Ukraine.
GAIL rose 7.5 percent 7 percent after Jefferies upgraded the stock to 'buy' from 'hold' and raised its target price by 6.3 percent to Rs 170.
Biocon shares slumped 11.5 percent after it said its subsidiary Biocon Biologics will acquire US-based Viatris's biosimilars business.
Future Group shares jumped after Reliance Industries stepped in to rescue Future Retail, taking over the operations of its stores and offering jobs to its employees. Future Retail, Future Enterprises, Future Supply Chain, Future Lifestyle Fashions and Future Consumer finished the day 3.7-16.5 percent higher.
The Future group is locked in a bitter legal battle with e-commerce major Amazon at several judicial forums over the sale of its business to Reliance Industries' retail arm.
Rain Industries shares fell 7.5 percent after the company reported a mixed set of quarterly earnings on account of a tax expense of Rs 295.7 crore.
Broader markets overcame intraday weakness to close well in the green. The Nifty Midcap 100 rose one percent for the day, and its smallcap counterpart climbed up 0.6 percent to move further away from the bear zone. Last week, the Nifty Smallcap 100 had retreated more than 20 percent from its all-time high -- known in market parlance as bear territory. Currently, it is down 18.3 percent from its peak.
Overall market breadth improved through the day to favour the bulls, with an advance-decline ratio of 2:1. Around 330 stocks in the Nifty 500 basket were in the green at the close.
In the midcap and smallcap segments, UTI AMC, Natco Pharma, KSB and Dhani Services -- rising between seven percent and 13.4 percent -- were among the top gainers. On the flipside, Edelweiss Financial, Carborundum, Mahindra Logistics and Shilpa Medicare -- declining between 4.1 percent and 8.3 percent -- were among the losers.
Indian financial markets will remain shut on Tuesday for the Mahashivratri holiday.
European shares began the day in the red amid rising oil prices, after Russian President Vladimir Putin put his country's nuclear forces on high alert. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 1.5 percent at the last count.
S&P 500 futures were down 1.6 percent, suggesting a negative start ahead on Wall Street.
The road ahead
"The market will first react to GDP data outcome early on Wednesday... Participants are keeping a close watch on updates related to Russia and Ukraine. Any fruitful negotiation outcome will boost the sentiments and any dissatisfaction to either country may once again impact markets worldwide," said Ajit Mishra, VP-Research at Religare Broking.
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