Short covering lifts equity markets

Mumbai: Short covering, along with positive global indices and a firm rupee lifted the Indian equity markets during the mid-afternoon trade session on Friday. Healthy buying was witnessed in banking, automobile and capital goods stocks. The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) surged by 90.55 points, or 1.06 per cent to 8,641.65 points. The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 27,810.55 points, traded at 27,949.53 points (at 2.00 p.m.) -- up 235.16 points or 0.85 per cent from the previous close at 27,714.37 points. The Sensex has so far touched a high of 28,034.93 points and a low of 27,795.74 points during intra-day trade. The BSE market breadth was skewed in favour of the bulls -- with 1,779 advances and 801 declines. On Thursday, both the indices had ended on a flat note due to a fresh bout of buying support and short covering during the last hour of the trading session. The barometer index had risen by 16.86 points or 0.06 per cent, while the NSE Nifty inched up 6.25 points or 0.07 per cent. "Short covering after last two day's of correction lifted the equity markets. The upward trend was also supported by BoE's (Bank of England) decision of monetary policy easing," Anand James, Chief Market Strategist at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS. According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, CNX Nifty had held on to its opening gains and traded on a firm note during the mid-afternoon session.  "Bearish USD/INR prices supported the firm sentiments in Nifty," Desai said. "Most pharma and auto stocks traded firm on fresh buying sentiments. IT and FMCG stocks also traded firm." Desai added that aviation stocks faced resistance at higher levels which was triggered by the volatility in crude oil prices.