RTTNews - The Indian market surged for the third day in a row on Friday to post its 12th consecutive weekly gain for the first time in four years, as investors cheered better-than-expected fourth quarter GDP data and positive news flow from various ministries of the newly set up UPA-led coalition government. Firm cues from the European markets and higher U.S. stock futures also helped boost sentiment. Realty and capital good stocks spearheaded the rally followed by consumer durable, auto and oil/gas stocks.

Shrugging off recessionary trends in the developed markets, India's fourth quarter GDP rose better-than-expected 5.8% to manage 6.7% economic growth in the fiscal year 2008-09. While the growth rate in 2008-09 remained well below the nine percent growth in the previous year, it was not as low as was expected by certain analysts. Further, GDP growth in the third quarter of 2008-09 has been revised upwards to 5.8% from 5.3% estimated provisionally.

Meanwhile, Swiss Bank UBS AG's lead India economic indicator rose for the fourth consecutive month in April, indicating a rebound in industrial activity by June 2009. Separately, Goldman Sachs said in a note that the Indian economy continues to have significant pent-up demand for investment, especially in infrastructure and in affordable housing. It therefore sees upside risks to its 5.8% growth forecast for the current fiscal year.

The BSE Sensex opened higher at 14,320 and rose significantly to hit the day's high of 14,727 before paring some of its gains to finish at 14,625, up 329 points or 2.30% from its previous close. Likewise, the S&P CNX Nifty rose 112 points or 2.58% to 4,449.

On the BSE, the broad-based BSE 500 index rose 2.33%, the mid-cap index gained 2.46% and the small-cap index added 3.01%. Advancers outnumbered decliners by 2147 to 649 and 56 stocks closed unchanged.

Twenty-six out of 30 stocks ended in positive terrain. ACC (up 8.56%), DLF (up 8.41%), Jaiprakash Associates (up 8.21%), TCS (up 6.05%), Tata Steel (up 5.92%), Mahindra & Mahindra (up 5.67%) and Larsen & Toubro (up 4.75%) were the top gainers.

On the other hand, Sun Pharma plunged 8.24%, Grasim Industries tumbled 3.59%, Tata Power fell 2.47% and ITC closed almost unchanged.

Oil explorer Reliance Industries rose 2.59%, Cairn India jumped 6.12% and ONGC advanced nearly 4% after the Petroleum Minister Murli Deora in his second stint, said that he would go the Cabinet to seek a nod for deregulating fuel prices.

Among state-run oil-marketing companies, IOC rallied nearly 7% on reporting a net profit of Rs.6, 622.96 crore in the fourth quarter ended March compared to a net loss of Rs. 414.27 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago. HPCL jumped 8.33% and BPCL ended up 3.75%.

Tata Chemicals tumbled 4.37% on reporting a 33% drop in its FY09 consolidated net profit. Austral Coke & Projects ended down 0.50% after its board of directors sought shareholder approval for raising additional long-term resources to part-finance the company's capex plans.

GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals edged up 0.54% on reports that it is in advanced talks to buy a minimum 51% stake in Shantha Biotech from French company Merieux Alliance.

Telecom stocks moved higher after telecom minister A Raja, who has retained the portfolio he held in the previous UPA government, said he would prioritize the much-delayed auction of 3G airwaves and WiMAX spectrum. A new spectrum policy will also be announced shortly, he said.

Top telecom firm Bharti Airtel rose for the second day in a row following losses in the previous three sessions on news of its merger talks with South Africa's telecom giant MTN. Bharti rose 3.07%, Reliance Communication gained 2.84%, Idea Cellular added 5.98% and Tata Teleservices ended up 1.54%.

Shipping stocks such as GE Shipping, Mercator Lines and Shipping Corporation of India continued their advances following a sharp rise in sea cargo rates. Larsen & Toubro rallied 4.75% on forecasting a 15-20% revenue growth this financial year.

Anant Raj Industries was locked at the 5% circuit limit after its board of directors decided to raise Rs.2, 000 crore by issuing securities, including ADRs and FCCBs, to qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) on a private placement basis.

Dewan Housing was locked at the 20% upper circuit limit on reports that it will raise Rs.1, 000 crore through issuance of non-convertible debentures by July. Tata Motors ended up 1.22% on reporting a smaller-than-expected 51% drop in its full-year net profit for the financial year 2008-09.

Steel stocks such as SAIL, Tata Steel and JSL rallied more than 5% each after the minister of steel Virbhadra Singh proposed to create an empowered mechanism to expedite investment proposals worth Rs.11 lakh crore in the steel sector.

Prakash Industries rose 3.19% on reporting a modest 2.5% rise in its net profit for the financial year 2008-09. Nagarjuna Construction Company jumped more than 10% on reporting a 8% rise in its consolidated net profit for the March quarter.

Colgate Palmolive (India) rallied 4.55% after reporting a modest rise in its standalone net profit to Rs.77.07 crore for the March quarter compared to 77.74 crore in the previous quarter. Bank of India advanced 4.21% on reporting better-than-expected results for the full year 2008-09.

Aurobindo Pharma rallied 4.88% after its U.S. joint venture received the U.S. FDA approval for an anti-bacterial vet drug. Biocon Ltd ended down 1.06% after it launched BASALOG, a long acting peak less human insulin analogue, Glargine in India.

On the BSE, Reliance topped the traded value chart with a turnover of over Rs.361 crore followed by DLF (Rs.289.82 crore), Unitech (Rs.259.23 crore), Indiabulls Real Estate (Rs. 241.25 crore) and Suzlon (Rs.239.28 crore).

Unitech topped the traded volume chart with trades of 32.18 million shares followed by Suzlon (25.05 million), Reliance Natural Resources (21.17 million), Ispat Industries (19.77 million) and GVK Power & Infrastructure (11.34 million).

Elsewhere, the other markets across the Asia-Pacific region closed notably higher, led by resource stocks on higher commodity prices. European stocks advanced in early dealing and U.S. stocks were looking to extend their gains from the previous session Friday morning in New York, but early signals were pointing to another cautious start ahead of some pivotal economic data.

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