Helped by robust buying in capital goods and realty stocks, a benchmark index for Indian equities markets zoomed in the second half of trade on March 21, closing 285 points higher. The gain was remarkable as global bourses were dull.
The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 17,301.16 points, closed at 17,601.71 points, up 285.53 points or 1.65 percent compared to its previous close at 17,316.18 points.
The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also closed higher at 5,364.95 points, up 90.1 points or 1.71 percent from its previous close.
Broader markets were in the green too with the BSE 500 index ending 1.76 percent up. The BSE midcap was up 1.95 percent, while the BSE smallcap index closed 1.23 percent higher.
The market breadth was positive with 1,758 stocks advancing, 1,136 on the decline and 130 remaining unchanged.
According to data available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought stocks worth USD38.92 million on March 21.
"The strength in today's markets has come as a surprise as the global cues were not very strong," said Dipen Shah of Kotak Securities.
"With the Eurozone crisis largely under control, the key external factor for indian equities is the crude price movement," added Shah. "Oil prices cooled off a bit after Saudi Arabia promised to meet shortfalls in global oil supplies."
Gainers on the Sensex included L&T, up 4.46 percent at INR1,348; TCS, up 3.25 percent at INR1,171.85; ICICI Bank, up 3.07 percent at INR935.40 and SBI, up 2.26 percent at INR2,233.55.
Major losers included Hindalco, down 1.01 percent at INR137.25; ONGC, down 0.35 percent at INR271.30; ITC, down 0.18 percent at INR222.90 and Sun Pharma, down 0.17 percent at INR568.15.
Asian markets closed in the red as concerns over a slowdown in China's economy weighed heavy on investors. The Japanese Nikkei index closed 0.55 percent lower at 10,086.49 points. Hong Kong's index edged 0.15 percent down at 20,856.63 points, while the Chinese Shanghai Composite index was flat at 2,378.2 points.
European markets were trading flat. Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.12 percent at 5,898.35 points, while the German DAX was trading 0.22 percent up at 7,070.74 points. The French CAC 40 was ruling 0.11 percent up at 3,534.74 points.