Key equity indices reported sharp gains on strong buying demand in index pivotals. Overall risk appetite improved after foreign investors ramped up buying in domestic equity market. The sentiment also got a boost by a strong rupee and positive global stocks after the European Commission agreed to changes in a Brexit deal ahead of a vote in the British parliament.
The Sensex rose 481.56 points or 1.30% to settle at 37,535.66, its highest closing level since 17 September 2018. The index rose 532.53 points, or 1.44% at the day's high of 37,586.63. The index rose 176.75 points, or 0.48% at the day's low of 37,230.85.
The Nifty 50 index rose 133.15 points or 1.19% to settle at 11,301.20, its highest closing level since 17 September 2018. The index rose 152.35 points, or 1.36% at the day's high of 11,320.40. The index rose 58.95 points, or 0.53% at the day's low of 11,227.
The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index rose 0.65%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index rose 1.07%.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was strong. On the BSE, 1653 shares rose and 1067 shares fell. A total of 142 shares were unchanged.
Among the sectoral indices on BSE, the S&P BSE Realty index (up 2.60%), the S&P BSE Telecom index (up 2.44%) and the S&P BSE Capital Goods index (up 2.23%), outperformed the Sensex. The S&P BSE IT index (down 0.22%), the S&P BSE Auto index (up 0.26%) and the S&P BSE Power index (up 0.44%), underperformed the Sensex.
ICICI Bank rose 3.27% at Rs 388.20. The stock hit a record high of Rs 389 in intraday today, 12 March 2019.
Index heavyweight Reliance Industries gained 2.22% at Rs 1329.85. The stock hit a record high of Rs 1,333 in intraday today, 12 March 2019.
L&T rose 3.08%. The power transmission & distribution business of L&T Construction has bagged a number of engineering, procurement and construction orders in India and abroad. The announcement was made during market hours today, 12 March 2019.
Bharti Airtel (up 5.12%), IndusInd Bank (up 3.69%), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (up 2.32%), HDFC Bank (up 1.90%) and HDFC (up 1.83%), were the major Sensex gainers.
Bajaj Finance (down 1.3%), Infosys (down 0.67%), NTPC (down 0.59%), ONGC (down 0.52%) and Coal India (down 0.29%), were the major Sensex losers.
KEC International rose 5.94% after the company said it has secured new orders worth Rs 1,323 crore across its various businesses. The announcement was made during trading hours today, 12 March 2019.
HDFC Life Insurance Company fell 4.71% to Rs 371.45. The company said one of its promoters, Standard Life, will sell up to 4.92% stake in the life insurance firm through offer for sale (OFS). The Standard Life (Mauritius Holdings) 2006, one of the promoters of the insurer, began stake sale through OFS today, 12 March 2019 and the floor price for the sale is fixed at Rs 357.50 per share.
On the first day of the bidding for OFS today, 12 March 2019, at 15:30 IST, bids were received for 16.38 crore shares from the non-retail investors, representing a subscription of 260.10%.
Standard Life proposed to sell up to 7 crore equity shares, representing 3.47% stake, today, 12 March 2019 (T Day) (for non-retail investors only) and on 13 March 2019 (T+1 Day) (for retail investors and for non-retail investors who choose to carry forward their un-allotted bids). It has an option to additionally sell up to 2.95 crore equity shares, representing 1.46% stake, (the oversubscription option). Currently, Standard Life holds 29.22% stake in the life insurance company while mortgage firm HDFC has a 51.48% stake.
In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged higher against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 69.64, compared with its close of 69.89 during the previous trading session.
In the global commodities markets, Brent for May 2019 settlement was up 66 cents at $67.24 a barrel. The contract rose 84 cents, or 1.28% to settle at $66.58 a barrel during the previous trading session.
Overseas, European shares traded higher following a strong session in Asian markets, as Monday's rebound continued. British parliament will vote later Tuesday on a new Brexit deal after Prime Minister Theresa May and the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed late Monday to some last minute changes to the divorce agreement.
Asian stocks gained on the back of a strong performance in U.S. markets overnight. U.S. stocks snapped a five-day losing streak to close higher Monday as technology shares rallied, offsetting some of the gloom from Boeing Co.'s woes after the second deadly crash in about six months involving the company's 737 Max 8 aircraft.
In US data, U.S. retail sales unexpectedly rose in January. Retail sales rose 0.2%. Data for December was revised down to show retail sales dropping 1.6% instead of tumbling 1.2% as previously reported.