Sensex jumps 479 pts on short covering

Mumbai : Equities broke their string of losses with a resounding bounce, as investors went on a buying spree in index majors ONGC, RIL, Infosys, and SBI.

The benchmark Sensex surged by a massive 479 points to settle at 27,490.59 on across-the-board buying led by auto, realty and refinery stocks.

Though the relief rally was entirely based on short covering, fresh long positions were created after consistent sell-off in April even as retail investors took the advantage of the current bearish market to buy value stocks.

Moreover, soothing comments from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on the Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) levied to FIIs also adequately supported the pullback rally.

Providing a huge breather to foreign investors, Finance Minister had on Thursday said that capital gains made by them from sale of securities as well as royalties, interest, technical services fee earned by foreign companies will be exempt from MAT.

After a strong start, bourses maintained their strong momentum throughout the session while consolidating gains till the end.

The broader 50-share Nifty index shot-up by a hefty 150.45 points, or 1.84 per cent to end at 8,331.95 after hitting an intra-day high of 8,346.

ONGC shares were the top gainer on Nifty, surging 8% to end at 328.35 rupees, cheering the government’s decision to bear the entire oil subsidy from the current financial year.

India has been one of the worst performing markets among its major world peers after recent scary spell of corrections which wiped out their entire gains made this year following massive unwinding by foreign portfolio investors on account of retrospective tax worries, fading optimism over economic recovery and tepid corporate earnings growth in the midst of Fed rate hike fears. The benchmark Nifty had lost over a staggering 10 per cent from its March historic high level of 9,119.20.

The mid-cap and small-cap indices were up 2.86 and 2.47 per cent, respectively.

Auto counters also witnessed good amount of buying interest, riding mainly on robust sales numbers in April.

There were big moves in retail sector too, buoyed by Aditya Birla Group’s decision to consolidate all its branded apparel businesses into Pantaloons Fashion and Retail.

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